The longest serving trustee and founder of Princess Alice Hospice has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Jane Formby has been involved with the Esher hospice since 1983, when she and a team of neighbours and business leaders campaigned and raised for a hospice to be built.

She said: "I am very thrilled and honoured to received this award, but I am also embarrassed as I am just one tiny cog in a wheel of people - staff, volunteers, friends and supporters who all work so hard to run our hospice.

"I am hoping that this will, in a small way, serve to highlight and publicise the wonderful free service which Princess Alice Hospice provides to patients and their families across our wide catchment area."

From inception to now, Mrs Formby, of Thames Ditton, has been a key part of creating many of the events the hospice is known for such as the Towpath Trundle, Candlelight Christmas and Women of Our Time luncheon, and was instrumental in setting up the first Princess Alice Hospice shop. The hospice now has 39 shops with a 40th due to open in the new year.

Nicki Shaw, chief executive, said: "I'm not sure I can find the words to put how much Jane has accomplished, and continues to accomplish into perspective.

She is a truly driven and inspiring person.

"She is a skilful campaigner, fundraiser, networker and public speaker. She is incredibly selfless and dedicated and she does this all with a wonderful sense of humour and with such grace and humility."


Dorothy Beeson

Surrey Comet:

A woman who has spent more than half her life taking care of swans has been rewarded for services to the rescue and rehabilitation of swans.

Dorothy Beeson founded the Swan Sanctuary in 1979 after taking care of swans in her back garden she has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

She said she was inspired after: "Going bird watching, watching a pair of swans pair up, mate and produce."

After the signets were born she visited them and saw the male swan had a fishing line in his mouth. She had to find someone to help her help him and this experience made her realise how important it was to work with swans, as they were in danger 30 years ago.

However, thanks to work by people such as Mrs Beeson, swan numbers in the UK have increased again and the species is doing well.

Mrs Beeson, her partner and her daughter, who is a veterinary nurse at the sanctuary in Shepperton, and a small team work tirelessly at the sanctuary with one person always on call to help if an emergency call comes in. The work did not even stop on Christmas Day, with a member of the team heading out to help a swan in trouble.

Mrs Beeson was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1990 in recognition of her work rescuing and treating swans on the Thames.

When she found out she would be made an MBE, Mrs Beeson said: "When the letter came I thought I was a tax letter. When I opened it I was just totally gobsmacked."