Royal praise for Diana’s 60 years

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Royal praise is heading to an “incredible” lifelong Warwick charity worker who clocked up 60 years of good deeds and kindness with the Red Cross.

Diana Hodges signed up to the Red Cross as an eager cadet aged just 10 years old.

Diana Hodges

Diana Hodges

And she went on to forge what would become a 60-year career volunteering and working with the charitable organisation to help reunite families and care for hospital patients.

Now, her lifetime of compassion and dedication to others will be praised by the Queen at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs Hodges, who lives in Warwick, is one of just 12 Red Cross volunteers in the UK to clock up the long service award in time for the royal thanks - something she described as a “honour”.

“It will be a tremendous honour to celebrate my long service at a special event celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday,” she said.

“I am looking forward to a delightful afternoon spending time with volunteers I have not seen for many years.”

As well as volunteering with the national charity, Mrs Hodges spent 28 years working as an administration manager for the group.

She also continued to volunteer as a first aider and with services which work to reunite lost family members.

After retiring from her position, she then took over running of the drinks bar at Warwick Hospital where she was able to continue her passion for helping others by working with a team of 30 volunteers helping patients each week.

Looking back on her long career the stalwart worker said as well as friends, she now has a years of unforgettable experiences behind her - including one of her favourite memories of reuniting a Spanish woman with her brother after the pair lost touch once she came to live in England. Diana said: “I told her that I’d do what I could but couldn’t make any promises.

“But eighteen months later I was able to tell her that we’d found her brother. It was incredible and he even visited me when he came to England.

“I love the feeling of doing something to help other people and it is great to have the chance to promote the Red Cross and talk to patients and their families.”

Paying thanks to her work, Adi Robinson, of Red Cross Warwickshire, said: “We would like to thank Diana for devoting decades of dedicated service to the Red Cross.

“Our volunteers achieve incredible things every day and make such a difference to the lives of people in crisis.”

The event at the palace will be run as part of Volunteers’ Week which celebrates people across the UK until June 12.