Receiving a British Empire Medal was “magic” says Royal British Legion volunteer Ann

Ann Hickman receives the British Empire Medal from Sir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire at Nottingham�"s County Hall

Picture: Sarah Washbourn
Ann Hickman receives the British Empire Medal from Sir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire at Nottingham�"s County Hall Picture: Sarah Washbourn

A Everton woman has spoken of her delight after being been presented with a British Empire Medal for services to the community and the Royal British Legion.

Ann Hickman, was recognised in the New Years Honours for her work at the Retford branch of the Royal British Legion.

Ann is branch secretary, as well as its main Poppy Appeal organiser.

And Ann, of Everton, has now been presented with her British Empire Medal by Sir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, the Queen’s representative in the county.

Sir John said: “These awards are for people that work hard in their respective communities and fully deserve recognition for their unstinting willingness to help others.”

Ann said the presentation was “magic, but also very embarassing”.

She said: “I felt very honoured to be given this very special award, especially when I heard what the other recipients had done.

“They read out the citation about me and I always get embarrassed when people talk about me.

“It was such a special day with so many very kind people and also with my family with me.

“It all feels very real indeed now to actually have it.

“It is beautiful and there is a certificate that goes with it.

“I am off to a garden party at Buckingham Palace as well, so that will be exciting too.

“It has been a rollercoaster ride, but I just feel so very honoured and proud to have received it.”

Ann become involved in the RBL through someone she knew on another committee.

She said:“He was vice-chairman of the Retford branch and they had no secretary – and the rest is history, as they also did not have a Poppy Appeal Organiser.

“I have been both for 12 years, something I feel is so worthwhile and something which has given me so much pleasure.”

Ann is responsible for more than 400 boxes going out during the Poppy Appeal as well as supermarket collections. But she says all the work she does is a team effort.

Ann is married to a retired RAF pilot and they have two children and five grandchildren.

Her hobbies include her dogs, gardening, cooking and reading.

She is also a member of the Women’s Institute and the Mothers’ Union, as well as being involved in the church.

She said: “I cannot stress too much how honoured I am and that it is due to so many people that I have been given this award.”