A great-grandfather who began volunteering at The Royal Star
& Garter Homes 25 years ago has received the British Empire Medal (BEM) in
the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of voluntary service to Veterans.
John Parvin first started giving up his free time for the
Charity in 1993, when his father-in-law moved into the old Richmond Home. The
Royal Star & Garter Homes cares for ex-Servicemen and women and their
partners living with dementia or disability.
The 82-year-old from Mitcham said: “It was a hell of a
surprise when I found out. I thought ‘what have I done to deserve this?’”
John spent 18 months as a volunteer before working for the
Charity as a carer. When he retired in 2001, he stayed on to work as a
His wife Lesley and sister-in-law Shirley have also
volunteered at the Richmond and Surbiton Homes since 1993. His brother-in-law
Terry is also a long-time volunteer.
John, who served in the Army between 1957 and 1959, is a
retired carpenter and helps residents with woodwork activities. He also assists
on outings and helps run the mobile shop, selling treats and toiletries. He
enjoys chatting to residents, reading newspapers to them or making them cups of
John said: “It’s just like spending time and talking to a
friend or a neighbour. You have a good chat and share jokes and laughs. I get a
lot of satisfaction myself when I’m there.
“And I have no plans of stopping either, I enjoy it too
The Royal Star & Garter Homes’ Chief Executive Andy Cole
said: “We are delighted that John’s dedication to the Charity and our residents
has been recognised in this way. The Royal Star & Garter Homes relies on
volunteers such as John, Lesley, Shirley and Terry to help provide our veterans
with the best possible care. After many years’ service in our Richmond and
Surbiton Homes, the British Empire Medal is a hugely fitting honour for John to
John, Lesley, Shirley and Terry have also received
long-service awards from The Royal Star & Garter Homes for their many years
In last year’s New Year’s Honours list, The Royal Star &
Garter Homes’ Betty Johnson received a British Empire Medal for voluntary
service to Veterans. The Charity’s Director of Care Pauline Shaw was also
awarded an OBE for services to Veterans.