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Selfless Norwich duo receive national award

Martin Wyatt received his award for services to the community.: Bill Smith

Martin Wyatt received his award for services to the community.: Bill Smith

Archant

Two people from Norwich have been recognised with a national honour for their selfless work in the community.

Mary Rae received her award yesterday.Mary Rae received her award yesterday.

Mary Rae, of Thorpe St Andrew, and Martin Wyatt, of Norwich, have both received British Citizen Awards this week.

The awards recognise the accomplishments of “everyday” people in society.

Mrs Rae, 67, was recognised for her services to the arts, having raised more than £150,000 charity through organising concerts.

She said: “I am very humbled to receive a British Citizen Award – to see these concerts come to life is a big enough reward for me.

“We’ve got a so many wonderful musicians, and a wonderful venue, it’s fantastic to have a platform to showcase these, all whilst raising money for charity.”

In 1984 the music teacher organised various low cost concerts at the Octagon Chapel in Norwich, after realising that the type of music was not easily accessible to everyone.

It eventually led to the creation of the Octagon Concert Series and the Octagon Singers.

There has been 291 concerts held to date, with all of the proceeds going to charity.

Meanwhile, Norwich’s other local champion, Mr Wyatt, received his award for services to the community.

The 68-year-old founded the Gregory’s Art Centre in the city back in 1986, which became a venue for the St Gregory’s Orchestra.

When grant-giving bodies did not support the venue, he invested his own money to restoring the building and enable it to function.

He said: “I’ve always believed in that what makes a good leader is to not tell people what to do but to provide them with the opportunity of what people would like to do, this is well practiced within St Gregory’s Orchestra.”

Thirty people received medals at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday.

Have you received an award for your work in the community? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

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