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Melksham fundraiser to receive British Empire Medal

A FUNDRAISER who dedicated many years to charitable work in Melksham has received royal recommendation after being named in the New Year’s Honours List.

Joy Hicks will receive the British Empire Medal for her services to charity after dedicating most of her life to raising money for good causes.

Joy moved with her husband and two children to Melksham in 1960.  She immediately became involved in Christian Aid collections for Melksham United Church and was soon a member of the organising committee including preparing Christian Aid charity lunches.

She was tenacious in finding collectors to assist her during house-to-house collections and standing outside supermarkets to encourage the people of Melksham to give to those less fortunate than themselves.

Her work for Action for Children started when she was a teenager and she was given the Stephenson award for the massive contribution she has made over the years to their work with the vulnerable and excluded children and young people.  She and her collectors raised over £75,000 since records have been kept.

She has also worked tirelessly for the church as a member of various committees including the Mission committee and as a supporter of the wider church and community.  Her care for others was shown by her visits to the sick and the elderly and by using her car to transport others with the Link scheme.

Joy said, “I was surprised when I found out I had been given this award. I had no idea it even existed.

“I really don’t think I deserve it as there are others that do far more and I enjoyed what I was doing. I will be heading to Buckingham Palace in May which I am looking forward to. It will be fantastic.”

Joy was nominated for the award by Melksham United Church who recognised her dedication to charitable causes throughout her life.

Pamela Packer from Melksham United Church said, “Joy has always put others first and her selfless work has been exceptional and her honour richly deserved.”

Joy lived in Melksham for over 50 years before moving to East Leake in Nottinghamshire recently.