Norwich charity stalwart rewarded with royal invitation

Margaret Millar

Margaret Millar - Credit: Archant

Norwich's very own 'Queenie' will be rewarded for her dedication to the Sue Ryder charity as the only volunteer from Norfolk with an invitation to the street party at The Mall in St James's Park.

Old Catton's Margaret Millar earned the nickname due to her insistence on drinking tea from fine china – and on Sunday she will be doing it in royal company.

Mrs Millar retired at the age of 75 after managing a care home and snooker hall in the city. But by her 76th birthday she had decided retirement wasn't for her, and began volunteering.

Now 80, she has been handpicked to represent the charity at the Patron's Lunch in London.

'When I retired I thought, 'I am on my own now',' said Mrs Millar, who has two children, two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

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'I just went into the shop to see the manager and ask to do a bit of volunteering. I started there on my 76th birthday, and have been there four years and I am very busy. It is a lovely shop and has lovely people working there.'

Mrs Millar regularly works 30 hours a week at the Old Catton Sue Ryder shop, and shows no signs of slowing down.

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'I only work Mondays and Sundays, but I can end up going in during the week for a cup of coffee and staying for three or four hours,' she said.

'I feel very privileged to be chosen because I am the only volunteer in Norfolk to get it, and there are so many of us. There are 30 in my shop alone.

'I am quite active and I can go in when I want and leave when I want. I live on my own and this gets me out of the house – I love being there. I will still be there when I am 90 I expect.

'I am really honoured to be meeting here and very much looking forward to it.

'I have been practising my curtsy since I found out.'

Holly Spiers, director of hospices and fundraising at Sue Ryder, said: 'It was a difficult job to find just 20 but we have selected some incredible people who deserve to be thanked and rewarded for their contribution and support by being our representatives at the party.

'Without their support, we simply could not exist'.

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