Charity volunteer awarded British Empire Medal in New Year’s Honours

John Parvin first started giving up his free time for the Charity in 1993, when his father-in-law moved into the old Richmond Home. The Royal Star & Garter Homes cares for ex-Servicemen and women and their partners living with dementia or disability.

John Parvin with carpentry resident 2

The 82-year-old from Mitcham said: “It was a hell of a surprise when I found out. I thought ‘what have I done to deserve this?’”

John spent 18 months as a volunteer before working for the Charity as a carer. When he retired in 2001, he stayed on to work as a volunteer.

His wife Lesley and sister-in-law Shirley have also volunteered at the Richmond and Surbiton Homes since 1993. His brother-in-law Terry is also a long-time volunteer.

John, who served in the Army between 1957 and 1959, is a retired carpenter and helps residents with woodwork activities. He also assists on outings and helps run the mobile shop, selling treats and toiletries. He enjoys chatting to residents, reading newspapers to them or making them cups of tea.

John said: “It’s just like spending time and talking to a friend or a neighbour. You have a good chat and share jokes and laughs. I get a lot of satisfaction myself when I’m there.

“And I have no plans of stopping either, I enjoy it too much.”

The Royal Star & Garter Homes’ Chief Executive Andy Cole said: We are delighted that John’s dedication to the Charity and our residents has been recognised in this way. The Royal Star & Garter Homes relies on volunteers such as John, Lesley, Shirley and Terry to help provide our veterans with the best possible care. After many years’ service in our Richmond and Surbiton Homes, the British Empire Medal is a hugely fitting honour for John to receive.”

John, Lesley, Shirley and Terry have also received long-service awards from The Royal Star & Garter Homes for their many years of volunteering.

In last year’s New Year’s Honours list, The Royal Star & Garter Homes’ Betty Johnson received a British Empire Medal for voluntary service to Veterans. The Charity’s Director of Care Pauline Shaw was also awarded an OBE for services to Veterans.

Captions: John Parvin (left) helps a resident at The Royal Star & Garter Homes in Surbiton during a woodwork activity


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Goolistan Cooper

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About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured young men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today we provide specialist care to the whole military family in our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes. Disabled ex-Servicemen and women, and their spouses, can all benefit from our pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care.

We are in the process of building new Homes around the country to provide specialist nursing care for disabled ex-Service people in the best modern surroundings, including dementia care facilities to address this growing need. The Charity has award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands, and Surbiton, Surrey, which also enables the Charity to offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. Following the successes of the first two Homes, a third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is being built, with a planned opening in 2019.

We are proud to have enjoyed Royal patronage since our foundation, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to the present day.


Twitter: @starandgarter




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