A dedicated Wing volunteer who has helped to raise over £15,000 for community causes has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours.
Joyce Brooker, 85, has given her heart and soul to the village, recently retiring from her position as secretary of The Wing Hall Trust after 35 years, while still running the local magazine, What’s On in Wing.
Not only has she dedicated her time to pen and typewriter, but Joyce has been busy volunteering at The Cupboard, a shop she founded where people can donate unwanted items and 25 per cent of its profits go to community organisations.
Joyce said: “I’m quite excited about my honour I don’t know too much about it, but I decided I should accept it because of all the people who have helped me over the years.
“In the beginning, I was very very busy as secretary and I used to help contact people that we wanted to work for us or met them to discuss everything.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it; it’s all very modern these days. They have all been doing it on email but I haven’t got a computer!”
Joyce was born in Wing and has lived in the village for her whole life, apart from when she and her husband, Charles, spent 12 years in Linslade when they got married until a plot of land became free in the village.
The couple moved back to Wing in the 1970s and in 1988 Joyce founded The Cupboard, Charles supporting her many activities until he passed away seven years ago.
Joyce said: “I went on holiday and there was a small shop and I used to visit and take in what they were doing.
“From watching their charity work, I dreamed up The Cupboard and when room became available to rent in the village hall some ladies I was friendly with helped me get it going.”
Joyce’s work via The Cupboard has helped the Brownies and Guides, Cubs and Scouts, Wing Welfare Committee and Age Concern.
She added: “Charles always used to say ‘Come on, give it a bit of a rest’ but he’d be very proud of my BEM. He used to help me take round the What’s On’s.
“I would also like to say a big thank you to Mavis and Simon Kimber who take the magazines to the distributors.”
Joyce’s biggest fan, no doubt, is her sister Dora Davis (formerly of Dorvic’s Cycles, Leighton Buzzard) who Joyce was “bursting to tell!”, with Dora’s two children keeping it a big secret - until today, that is!