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Honour for dedicated voluntary worker

Jill Richards’ decades of voluntary work for the benefit of Llanharan have been recognised with an honour from the Queen.

Bryncae resident Mrs Richards, who was recently presented with the British Empire Medal, says her years of dedicated work were for the village she loves.

A former personal assistant in the local health authority, Mrs Richards began fundraising work in the 1970s, helping to raise thousands of pounds for a hydrotherapy pool. Her interest in community work continued from there.

She is currently secretary of the Llanharan Welfare Trust, which works with local organisations, and has been secretary of Llanharan OAPs for around 20 years. Mrs Richards set up the Llanharan Youth Drop-In Centre and Community Shop, which opened in 1993.

There are now two community shops in the village run by volunteers and monies raised from the shops benefit the local schools, church and chapel and groups including the scouts.

“I don’t do voluntary work for recognition. I just thoroughly enjoy what I do and I love my village,” said Mrs Richards.

“I like seeing people enjoy the fruits of my labours. I’m just one of those lucky people who has organisational skills.”

The British Empire Medal is awarded for civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. Mrs Richards was awarded the BEM in recognition of her years of community work in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Mrs Kate Thomas, presented the medal to Mrs Richards at the Municipal Buildings in Pontypridd.
Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Mayor, Cllr John Watts, welcomed all those who attended and congratulated Mrs Richards on her honour.