Queen honours for duo who give back to the community

Richard Groom.

Richard Groom.

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Two people with links to Bedford Modern School have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Chair of governors at the school, Sally Peck, has been awarded an OBE for services to the community through education and sport.

Sally Peck.

Sally Peck.

While former students and current president of the school’s Alumni Association, Richard Groom, has been recognised with an MBE for services to the community, particulary disabled young people.

Sally has worked tirelessly for the Harpur Trust since she first became a trustee in 1998 and was chairman through some of the most demanding times for the trust.

She said; “It was such a wonderful surprise to have been mentioned in the New Year’s Honours list. I regard myself as extremely fortunate to have been involved with The Harpur Trust for the past 18 years. I have met some truly inspirational people along the way and have learnt a huge amount. I’m so grateful.”

Richard, who attended Bedford Modern School from 1953 to 1960, helped raise millions of pounds during his time as chairman of the Lord’s Taverners - an organisation that gives disadvantaged children the opportunity to play and engage in sport.

I do a lot of charity work, because I enjoy it,” he said. “To see the faces of those youngsters when they were suddenly able to do things that they didn’t think possible because of their disability was reward enough for me.”

More recently Richard has been the chairman of the Orpheus Centre, a performing arts college for disabled young adults in Surrey.

He was a founder member of The Stilettos, a local band formed in the 60s and well known at the time, who still do the occasional local gig quite often at Bedford Rugby Club.