Swapping her GP surgery for a retirement filled with voluntary work has brought Elisabeth Cotton new rewards.
While she helped others in her village, they, behind her back, nominated her for a British Empire Medal.
Elisabeth admits she was “a bit overwhelmed” to be honoured for services to the community, but is very proud.
She said: “I will receive the medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and go to a garden party later in the year.
“The British Empire Medal is a huge honour, and it is all down to the people of the village who put me forward for it. They kept it quiet and I knew nothing about it.”
Her nomination was organised by parish church secretary Jean Sampson.
Elisabeth said: “Jean did a lot of work to make this happen - I think she needs an honour for all her efforts!”
Since 2008, Elisabeth has volunteered St Peter and St Paul’s Church, raised £250,00 for the Village Hall, run a good neighbour scheme called Hands Across Cranfield, and introduced lunches at the social club. In 2009, she started a chair-based exercise group for older people and written articles for the Cranfield Express.
She said since her husband passed away in 2008, she has become more involved with the village. “Sucked into it, more like” she laughed. “As things needed doing, I got more involved.”