Six people from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who have been celebrated in their local communities or won the respect of others for their work are to be part of next month’s Royal Wedding.
As the Queen’s representative in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Lord-Lieutenant Julie Spence, was invited to nominate six people from the area, along with one guest each, to attend celebrations at Windsor Castle for the wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19.
The local group will be part of around 2,500 people from around the UK specially invited to watch the arrivals of the happy couple and their wedding guests and the start of the carriage procession as it leaves Windsor Castle.
The six – who include four particularly inspirational young people - are
- 12 year old Jorja Furze, who undeterred by being born with only one leg works with the charity Steel Bones as an Ambassador. She fundraises and organises groups at her school in Soham, Cambridgeshire, to help others overcome difficulties. In 2017 Jorja won the Child of Achievement award at the Ely Heroes Award.
- Charlie Calvert – 15 (will be 16 on 11th May) from Wisbech who is the youngest police cadet leader in Cambridgeshire, and was awarded 2017 Junior Cambridgeshire Young Person of the Year.
- Sixteen year old Billy Griffiths from March. The Headteacher of his School, Neale Wade Academy, describes Billy as "an all-round good egg" who has overcome early difficulties in his life. He has completed all the school Leadership Awards - bronze, silver and gold and has recently obtained his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. He is an instrumental leader and driver of change for the Youth District Council, and sets a great example to others.
- Jamie Turner, 16 from Peterborough is a young man who has persevered with his Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE), despite issues related to his autism. He recently gave an address to an audience of over 100 business people at a DofE dinner attended by a member of the Royal Family, where he spoke about his journey with an eloquence belying his issues and his years.
- Charlotte Field, from Ramsey near Huntingdon is a highly regarded and outstanding young leader in the Ramsey area. She has been commissioned by Ely Diocese as a Pioneer Exchange Minister, and an Authorised Lay Minister on behalf of her local church. Many people have benefitted from her activities locally, making Charlotte a highly respected role-model particularly for young people.
- Neil Perry, the Chief Executive of Romsey Mill Trust, a Christian based charity with a long history of working in Cambridgeshire to support disadvantaged families, and particularly young people. Neil is described as someone who will always go the extra mile and more, with no thought for his own circumstances or convenience.
Mrs Spence had asked for nominations from all her Deputy Lieutenants, who represent all parts of the county and from Tony Gearing Chief Exec of YOPEY – Young People of the Year Charity, and spoke to The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, then selected the final six nominees on merit and also to give a good geographic spread across Cambridgeshire/Peterborough.
“Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle have said that they want their wedding to be a celebration of fun and joy, and to involve as many people from across the UK as possible.” Said Mrs Spence
“I was asked, along with other Lord-Lieutenants from across the UK, to nominate inspirational local people to attend this special day, and particularly wanted to highlight young people or those who seek to help and inspire the next generation.
“I am delighted with my nominees – each of whom richly deserves this honour - and I hope that they along with Prince Harry and Ms Markle - have a fantastic day to remember.” She added.