Everton: Royal British Legion secretary awarded BEM in Queen’s New Year’s Honours

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An Everton woman has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list for her services to the community in Retford and to the Royal British Legion.

Ann Hickman will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her work at the Retford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL).

Ann said: “I am stunned that I have been awarded the BEM, but very proud and it is thanks to a lot of people who work so hard for the Legion that I have been given it.

“There are a lot of people out there who deserve recognition for all the work they do for various organisations. I am very lucky and honoured that I have been recognised on behalf of the Legion.”

Ann is the branch secretary and Poppy Appeal organiser for the Retford branch of the RBL.

She said: “I am responsible for more than 400 boxes going out during the Poppy Appeal as well as supermarkets.

“One of my main pleasures during this time is going into schools and talking to the students about the work of the Legion and how the money collected is spent, something many people do not know.

“I also speak to adult groups. I cannot stress enough how much of a team effort the work I do is.”

Ann said the RBL has an advice centre once a month in Retford and also a monthly coffee morning for people to drop into.

Ann said: “We go to various events with our stall to promote the Legion and its work and for people to get to know more about us.

“Many people are not aware of how much we spend weekly on welfare which is £1.7 million and that anyone who has served in the Armed Forces for seven days and their dependants can come to us for help.

“I am also the Schools Liaison Officer for the Nottinghamshire RBL and a County Recruiting Officer.”

Ann become involved in the RBL through someone she knew on another committee.

She said: “He was Vice Chair of the Retford Branch and they had no Secretary and the rest is history as they also did not have a Poppy Appeal Organiser.

“I have been both for 12 years, something I feel is so worthwhile and has given me so much pleasure.”

Ann who lives in Everton is married to a retired RAF pilot and they have two children and five grandchildren. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking, her dogs and reading. She is also a member of the W.I., Mothers’ Union and involved in the church.

Ann added: “I cannot stress too much how honoured I am and that it is due to so many people that I have been given this award.”