Volunteer of more than 60 years is honoured for her work in Berwick

A woman who turned 100 earlier this year has had another reason to celebrate after being awarded a prestigious honour.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 1st November 2021, 10:26 am
Grace Friar receives her BEM from Her Grace, the Duchess of Northumberland.
Grace Friar receives her BEM from Her Grace, the Duchess of Northumberland.

Grace Friar was among four residents presented with British Empire Medals at a special investiture ceremony at Alnwick Castle by the Duchess of Northumberland, in her capacity as the Queen's Lord Lieutenant for the county.

The award is given to those engaging in voluntary work who have made a ‘hands-on’ contribution to their local community and recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters ‘BEM’.

Mrs Friar, from Berwick, was awarded her BEM for substantial services to the community in Berwick.

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For many years she has undertaken hands on voluntary work, of 20 plus hours every week, at the Berwick Salvation Army Furniture Project.

As an experienced seamstress she sorts, mends, prices and displays second-hand clothes; serves customers, trains others and has helped vulnerable and needy customers by buying them clothes using her own money.

The project has sold over 20 tonnes of donated clothing and raised over £50,000 for the Salvation Army work in Berwick, wider Northumberland and the Borders.

The former Wren in the Second World War is also a ‘street’ collector for the Salvation Army and, for 60 years, the Royal British Legion.

Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland said: “To receive a British Empire Medal is a fantastic achievement and I am delighted to be able to present these awards to four very worthy recipients.

"Their utter determination, hard work and dedication to help and support their communities over their lifetime is truly commendable.

"They are a credit to Northumberland and an inspiration to us all.”