Great-gran honoured for 40 years of service to community

June Knightley has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
June Knightley has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
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A great-grandmother who has devoted 40 years to volunteering in the community has been recognised by the Queen.

June Knightley, 82, is celebrating being awarded the British Empire Medal in this year’s Birthday Honours List.

I dread the day I will have to give it up. I like to help people and meeting people, I really enjoy it.

June Knightley

She has worked tirelessly for the people of Houghton since 1977 when she began volunteering as a community warden.

Since then, she’s thrown herself into helping at Newbottle Day Club, WRVS, Houghton Welfare Hall and other causes.

Today she still helps at lunches at Newbottle Day Club at Myre Hall, Houghton, as well at Social Focus in Age UK’s Bradbury Centre in Sunderland city centre.

“I couldn’t sleep when I found out, I was thrilled to bits,” said June.

“My sons nominated me and I had no idea until I saw my name on the list at the weekend.

“I’m not sure when I get the medal, but I think it will be locally. But I’ve been invited to the Queen’s Garden Party next summer.”

Speaking about her volunteering at the day club, June, from Houghton, said: “Older people come here for a coffee and I make them lunch in the kitchen. I love it.

“I dread the day I will have to give it up. I like to help people and meeting people, I really enjoy it.”

June will be celebrating her medal with a party with her sons Mitchell, 60, Neil, 56, Paul, 49; her grandchildren Philip, Nicholas, Kieran and Emma and her great-grandchildren Abigail and Oscar.