The New Year has brought wonderful news for musical village stalwart Peggy Woolhouse. Peggy, who has led the village ladies’ choir The Heath Singers for the past 50 years, is to receive a coveted British Citizen Award.
But the fact that she had been nominated, and indeed won the prestigious award, came as a complete surprise to Peggy who was kept in the dark until receiving official notice of her success. She will receive her medal at a formal presentation at the Palace of Westminster on 4 July.
The nomination was lodged by Lyn Rimmer, a Heath Singer herself, who put together a portfolio of letters and photos marking Peggy’s many achievements over the years. Lyn said: “Peggy is simply an amazing lady. She’s not only very talented; she cares for people and has a generosity of spirit. Under her leadership the Heath Singers choir has grown into a successful choir which has raised thousands of pounds for various local charities.”
Peggy added: “The first I knew of it was when Lyn told me to check my email for a pleasant surprise. To read that I had been nominated and actually selected totally took the wind out of my sails.
“I still can’t believe how doing something I love and enjoy has brought me such recognition.” Apart from conducting the Heath Singers since its formation in 1969, Peggy gives to the community in many other ways. She supported Rita Trigger’s local dance school as pianist for 46 years and has also provided musical accompaniment to the Carrington infant School choir.
News of the award ¡s particularly poignant given that Peggy has announced her intention to retire from the Heath Singers later this year following two final concerts in June.
British Citizen Awards are made to those who demonstrate exceptional work in their local community. Known as The People’s Honour it recognises people from all backgrounds who have devoted time and energy to others. Its patrons include Sarah, Duchess of York. There are two presentation ceremonies each year. In January and July which take place at the Palace of Westminster and are hosted by The Rt Hon Lord Dholakia.
Copy taken from Flackwell Heath Village Grapvine