New Year Honours 2020: Singing councillor becomes MBE

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image copyrightStaffordshire County Council
image captionKathleen Perry said she was "overwhelmed" to be recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours

A singer and county council chair who has raised money for numerous charities has been appointed an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Kathleen Perry, from Churchbridge, Staffordshire, has been recognised for services to the community.

She holds an annual fundraising ball, and regularly takes part in concerts to support a host of good causes.

She said she would not have been able to do all she has without the "love and support" of her extended family.

Still living in the village she was born and raised in, Mrs Perry said her decision to become a Conservative councillor "wasn't politically motivated initially" but because she wanted to do good for her community.

She said she was particularly proud of having helped develop the South Staffordshire Connect Bus, to help more isolated communities get around.

An accomplished singer, she has held or taken part in concerts to raise money for charities including the Royal British Legion and Midlands Air Ambulance.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionSinger Mrs Perry regularly hosts or takes part in charity concerts

She said: "My father Thomas first paid for me to have singing lessons when I was 10 or 11 and the first song I ever learned was If I Can Help Somebody and that is something that has gone with me all the way through."

Mrs Perry, who has been married for 47 years and has a son and two granddaughters, also holds an annual ball each May in honour of her mother.

"On her birthday every year she used to have a box to collect donations and give it to the heart rehabilitation centre, so we have continued what mum used to do," she said.

"I do enjoy doing what I can to help people and that is what it has always been about."

Other honours recipients from Staffordshire include:

  • Peter Derek Walters, training manager at WorldSkills UK, appointed an MBE for services to the WorldSkills Competition
  • Yvonne Clarke, managing director Pathways Community Interest Company, appointed an MBE for services to innovation and to the community in north-west England
  • Rebecca Jayne Bryant, chief fire officer at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, receives the Queen's Fire Service Medal

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