Betty earns rewards for her tireless work

Betty Matthews accepts her British Empire Medal from Lord Lieutenant Tony Worth as her sons, David, Tim and Nick, look on. ANL-141125-104753001
Betty Matthews accepts her British Empire Medal from Lord Lieutenant Tony Worth as her sons, David, Tim and Nick, look on. ANL-141125-104753001

Betty Matthews (84) has been given a special medal to thank her for the work she has done for charity.

The lifelong West Pinchbeck resident was presented with the British Empire Medal at a ceremony held at the Cley Hall Hotel in Spalding.

Betty received the medal, which recognises 50 years of service to Oxfam, from Lord Lieutenant Tony Worth.

The ceremony was attended by generations of supporters and Oxfam’s Lincolnshire and Nottingham area manage Maria Harrison, as well as many members of Betty’s family.

As well as working tirelessly for Oxfam, Betty has managed to raise three sons, ten grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Betty contacted Oxfam in 1962 after seeing publicity about the plight of children in the developing world and has since gone on to open the first Oxfam shop in Spalding and raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.

She also became involved as an activist, attending regional and national conferences, joining the Hungry for Change parliamentary lobby, and acting as a Trustee.

In 2012, due to the effects of the economic recession, the shop in the town faced closure but Betty saved it by rallying support in the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press, and from among volunteers, donors and customers. The shop is now reaching to a new base of customers and donors.

Betty, who was also given a special national award by the Charity Retail Association this year, said: “I feel very humbled, I am absolutely thrilled and my family is too.”

Betty, who loves being in the shop and meeting new people, still volunteers at the Oxfam shop on Station Street on Wednesday afternoons, and at other times when possible.