Beryl to retire after half-century of tireless charity work - The Rugby Observer

Beryl to retire after half-century of tireless charity work

Andy Morris 15th Nov, 2017   0

A CHARITY volunteer is hanging up her collection tin after 50 years of giving up her time to help Rugbeians in need.

Beryl Emery began helping good causes in 1967 – the year of the Summer of Love, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the birth of Radio 1 and the UK’s first colour TV broadcasts.

The 75-year-old volunteered for the RSPCA as honorary secretary, fundraiser, self-described ‘dogsbody’ and as a committee member for 11 years.

She got involved because of her love of animals.

She said: “I love animals and despise people who are cruel to them. Some people get a pet and then think ‘you don’t go with the furniture’, or ‘I want to go on holiday, I’ll take you to the vets and have you put down’ – but you don’t have to have one. You shouldn’t have an animal unless you can love it.”

So she would attend a welfare centre which used to be based next to the Avon Mill pub in Newbold Road, where she would provide minor treatments like fleaing and nail clipping.

The Sycamore Grove resident also helped set up Rugby’s branch of Parkinson’s UK in the mid-80s after watching her late husband Anthony battle the disease.

She said: “When we were trying to start Parkinson’s there were seven of us, and now there are over 100 members. So we’ve done well – we’ve grown from a little seed to a big tree.

“We raise the money which helps the Parkinson’s sufferers by paying for things like exercises, speech and language therapy and conductive education – things which help them with their disabilities.”

She says the most fulfilling moment in her half-century of charity work was receiving a British Empire Medal from the Queen in 2013.

She was a guest at a Buckingham Palace garden party on the weekend of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Coronation Anniversary when she was introduced to the monarch – who she described as “lovely, a typical grandma”.

She added: “I have all sorts of fond memories. I’d do it all over again. Some of the work has been quite hard and time-consuming, but well worth the effort.

“Lots of people support charities because there are lots of deserving ones. You can’t support them all because there isn’t sufficient money. But I’ve got my favourite charities and that’s all I can do.”

Beryl will be treated to a big farewell bash at Rugby Parkinson’s UK’s annual Christmas party on December 8.

“When I gave up the RSPCA I missed the animals so much,” she said, “and at Parkinson’s, I’ll still see everyone at the monthly meetings but I won’t be rushing around doing the raffle and collecting money.

“I will miss the hustle and bustle of it, but I’ve got loads to do in the house and the garden to keep me busy.”


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.


We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Rugby Observer.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.