Unstinting community service recognised

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A Middle Rasen woman has been honoured for her unstinting service to the local community.

A Middle Rasen woman has been honoured for her unstinting service to the local community.

As well as running a family business for more than 50 years, Joyce Rhodes has worked tirelessly for a number of charities and good causes.

In recognition of this dedication, she received the Rotary Community Service Award at Monday’s community carol concert at Market Rasen Methodist Chapel. And Mrs Rhodes admitted she had been left “speechless” by the award. “There are people far more deserving than me in the community,” she said. “I don’t do it for awards, the reward is doing things for the community and as long as I am able, I will continue to do so.”

In giving the citation, Rotary President Stuart Davis touched on some of Mrs Rhodes’s good works.

In Rotary terms, she has been very much involved in the ladies section of the Rotary club, firstly when there was an official “Inner Wheel” club and latterly with “Rotary Ladies” of which she is presently chair person and previously secretary.

She also took the lead role with Market Rasen Chamber of Trade, when it was in existence and has also been a member of Market Rasen Flower Club for many years.

In her home village of Middle Rasen, she has variously been involved with the Church Hall Committee, Middle Rasen Young Wives, the Church Hall re-building project, the Parish Council, St Peter and St Paul Church, and is President of the Horticultural Society, as well as serving as church warden for 10 years and on the social committee.

A quote from the church describes her as a ‘wonderful servant to the church and they give thanks for her great faith and hard work’.

And over the years, she has also been involved with the churches at West Rasen, South Kelsey and Tealby too.

She is heavily involved with the “Community Spirit” magazine, which is distributed to all households within the Middle Rasen Group of Churches, including Middle Rasen, Faldingworth, Toft Newton, West Rasen, Hainton, South Willingham, the Barkwiths and the Torringtons. Last year the circulation was just below the 20,000 mark.

Mrs Rhodes is responsible for the advertising revenue that funds the publication and goes to show her persuasive qualities in obtaining a full advertising scenario for the six years it has been in existence.

She has been a volunteer at Lincoln Prison, helping with children of parents who may be in custody.

Her involvement is very obvious in the Market Rasen branch of the Friends of St Andrew’s Children’s Hospice, which she helped to form and for which she has variously acted as secretary, treasurer and chair person.

Along with lots of help from other supporters, she has been a key worker in raising thousands of pounds for this very worthwhile charity and one the Rotary Club also supports.

Mrs Rhodes was recognised for her contributions to the community by being nominated to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden party in June of this year with her daughter, Abigail.

They were also invited to a reception in London held by the Bishop of Lincoln and the Lord Lieutenant of the Lincolnshire following the party.

“As you will note this lady has been one of the pillars of our society for many years and long may it continue,” added Rtn Davis.

“She is very determined and persuasive and has boundless energy and no way could be called a shrinking violet.”

And having received the honour, it was back to work for Mrs Rhodes, ready with her bucket for the retiring collection from the Community Carol Service in support of the Rotary Ladies’s chosen charity Marie Curie Nurses.

The Rotary Community Serve Award was instigated in 1995, making Mrs Rhodes the 20th recipient.

The first winner was Eileen Cooper and since then the honour has gone to Joan Woodcock, Anthony Holmes, Brain Ayre, David King, Rex Cooper, Derek Peatfield, Dorothy Robinson, Vi Broughton, Eleanor Sanders, Jack and Gladys Cook, Ron Baker, Mary Gaughan, John Skelton, Harry Minns, Margaret Lakin-Whitworth, Marion Cooper, Steve King and last year Alan Caine.

The award is open to anyone within the area covered by the Rotary Club of Market Rasen - principally the towns of Market Rasen and Caistor and their surrounding villages.