Unsung heroes in 1066 Country honoured in New Year's Honours list

A volunteer from 1066 Country has been named in the New Year's Honours for her tireless work helping those suffering from a debilitating condition.

Thursday, 3rd January 2019, 3:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:11 pm

Margaret Wells, 83, was nominated for a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to people with colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Margaret said: “I was shocked to find out about the nomination and am now very excited.”

Margaret had spent much time looking after her late daughter, who suffered from colitis from the age of seven.

New Year's Honours: Margaret Wells SUS-190201-093513001

She then used her growing knowledge of the condition to become an ardent fundraiser for Crohn’s and for Colitis UK, alongside her husband, for more than 40 years. While volunteering down the years, Margaret organised a local group of supporters known as the Hastings Cell, raising funds for charity.

Her nomination read: “Many sufferers of the illness are very grateful for the support and knowledge they receive from her after diagnosis. Although more is known about the disease now, there is still a certain amount of embarrassment for some sufferers and her willingness to share her own experience to benefit others is admirable.

“Not only has Margaret committed significant time and energy to supporting the charity helping to raise funds, through her efforts and personal endeavours she has raised the profile of inflammatory bowel disease among the public, as well as alerting supporters to the role the charities play in supporting individuals.”

Margaret said: “More than 40 years ago no one really knew anything about colitis and Crohn’s.

“It all started when a headteacher from St Albans wrote a letter in The Times asking for anyone with knowledge of it to contact him. A group of us got together with doctors from London and now the charity has 40,000 members.”

People to be named in this year’s New Year’s Honours for an MBE include St Leonards man Dr Owen Charles Johnson, registrar for the Tree Register of the British Isles, for services to the environment; and Penelope Angela Kaye, Macmillan specialist dietitian from Bexhill, who works for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, for services to dietetics. Bexhill’s Susan Lynne Rogers, a manager for Mobility Centres of England for services to transport, is also to be made an MBE.

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