Two people who have ‘changed lives’ by collectively volunteering for 62 years accept Royal invite

Two “dedicated” and long-serving volunteers from Northampton are off to Buckingham Palace in the summer to attend the prestigious royal Garden Party traditionally hosted by the King.

The lucky recipients of these highly coveted invites have collectively volunteered at St Andrew’s Healthcare for 62 years. They have been selected to attend as a way to ‘recognise and reward’ public service.

Mary Oxley, 94, and Roger Brewer, 79, are two of 30,000 people who have been invited to enjoy the beautiful gardens alongside members of the British Royal Family.

The Royal invite came as a huge surprise to both of them as they had been nominated by the Voluntary Services Team, which is led by Manager Dawn Wright.

Dawn said: “We were delighted to recently hear that the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire reviewed and accepted two of our nominations on behalf of His Majesty the King. Although all our volunteers are hugely valued, Mary and Roger are two of our longest-serving volunteers having worked with us for 22 and 40 years respectively.

“Mary is smart, funny and a very generous lady, who is unwavering in her passion to help others. She has dedicated an unbelievable amount of hours to those in need. The impact she has on our patients, staff and the hospital as a whole, is immeasurable. She is sharp as a whistle and she’s as witty as a fox – and over the years has gained an excellent understanding of mental health, which is priceless in her work.”

Roger, has been a St Andrew’s volunteer for nearly four decades after he started his volunteering journey in the early 80’s. It was around that time when he relocated his family from Bournemouth to the Midlands, with the sole purpose to move away from the corporate world and into volunteering.

Dawn said: “Roger has touched the lives of hundreds of patients at St Andrew’s and he really is one of a kind. There’s not many 79-year-olds who can speak Bengali, Mandarin and Urdu. He even has an O-Level in Punjabi and is currently learning Punjabi sign language so he can communicate with a deaf patient.

“He’s a much-loved member of our Voluntary Services Team, and is often seen helping out with office work and supporting our events. Roger is very good at noticing when additional help is needed – and he appears just in time, to give it – wherever that may be.

“Both Roger and Mary are dedicated, wonderful people who have quite simply changed lives. I cannot tell you how much their visits mean to our patients, many of whom do not have any family.”

Roger’s work goes way beyond St Andrew’s, he spends six days a week traveling to Northampton, London, Aylesbury and Oxford to volunteer at prisons, NHS Trusts and in the community as an Honorary Chaplain, with him also recently accepting a volunteering role on an NHS Safety Panel.

When asked why he has chosen to dedicate so much of his time to volunteering, Roger said: “I just love people. I don’t judge them. I’m solely here to make people’s lives better. I always take on the interests of the person who I’m talking with, for example, I hate football – but I often show a passion for it to see the joy in the person’s eyes!”

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.