Betty’s a real diamond

A MORPETH pensioner who has gone the extra mile to help others for many years will be honoured by royalty at a special event.

Ten Diamond Champions from the North East and Cumbria, including Betty Hogg, will meet the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at the celebration in St James’s Palace, London, next month.

To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the WRVS organisation called for nominations from around the country for volunteers over the age of 60 who make an extraordinary difference to their communities.

A regional judging panel chose 10 North East and Cumbria Diamond Champions from a pool of more than 200, who were presented with a specially designed pin at an event in Auckland Castle on October 10.

Among them was Mrs Hogg, a Morpeth resident, who has been volunteering in many capacities for 63 years.

The 83-year-old’s work includes sewing in the WRVS shop and canteen at St George’s Hospital, helping every week at the Acklington prison canteen and as a local emergency services organiser, she assisted at a major rail crash.

She delivered meals on wheels for 25 years, has worked with the Army Cadet Force and served on the police liaison committee. In her ‘spare time’, she knits socks for the Samaritan’s Purse appeal and produces jam and chutney for charities.

Chris Graham, WRVS head of services in the North East and Cumbria, said: “We’re delighted to be able to invite the 10 Diamond Champions to such a prestigious event at St James’s Palace.

“It’s a fantastic way to recognise the work of these volunteers, who are all amazing examples of the kind of volunteer work being done by older people across the region.”