Congratulations Ray Peart

The Queen’s Birthday Awards cannot capture all the great things done in every community, but I’m delighted that over the last few years there has been greater recognition of some of those in our community who’ve done a lot over a long time.

One of my constituents who’s consistently gone out year after year to raise funds for good causes, swimming thousands of miles to do so, is Ray Peart.

It’s one thing to commit to fund raising over decades, but to do so when blind is another thing - Ray is an ex Glosters soldier who was blinded in an explosion in Northern Ireland.

So I warmly welcome this week’s announcement of a British Empire Medal (BEM) to Ray. It shows that our Lieutenancy (the Lord Lieutenant represents the Queen in Gloucestershire) knows what’s happening on the ground and that ordinary Gloucester residents can be recognised for their great contributions to our city, however difficult life may be for them.

Many will have seen Ray putting a wreath at our War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday, often accompanied by an old colleague. But most often you’ll see him out and about walking with his wife Claire and a guide dog. If you do salute them all - for this award is to Team Peart, and Claire’s great love for and help to Ray is a big part of the fundraising success and this very happy award.