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Inspirational individuals to join Royals at Carol service

14 December 2022

Four inspirational individuals from Cambridgeshire have been specially invited to join members of the Royal Family at a Christmas Carol Service to celebrate the selfless work of people across the country.

The quartet will be special guests at the ‘Together At Christmas carol service’ at Westminster Abbey on Thursday, after being nominated to attend by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Mrs Julie Spence, OBE, QPM. The guests were chosen from a list of nominations the Lord-Lieutenant's office had received from various sources during the year for their contribution to the county.

Spearheaded by The Princess of Wales, and supported by The Royal Foundation, the service will recognise the selfless efforts of individuals, families and communities across the UK, and celebrate and showcase the joy that human connection and togetherness can bring.

The four guests from Cambridgeshire are:

Julie-Ann Perry - An Adult Instructor in Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force who works with young army cadets giving them opportunities they would not otherwise have. During Covid, she lead a sewing group in Peterborough making scrubs and facemasks for care homes, the vulnerable and Peterborough Hospital.

Ann Deane - Carries out volunteering work for the Talking Newspaper for the Blind in Peterborough and her work with The Wednesday Phab Club in Peterborough, a social club for adults to enable them to 'make more of life together'. Ann’s work was seen as so pivotal to the community that in March 2022 she won a Peterborough Civic Award for Community Involvement.

Reverend Anthony Gill - Cambridge University Hospitals Lead Chaplain. His support to both staff and patients throughout the pandemic has been phenomenal. He has consistently shown a wise, thoughtful compassion, and has never failed to show an intuitive and personable support to his colleagues undergoing periods of stress.

Samantha Dyer - Sam has been the key person linking the Cambridge-wide work on the Food Poverty Alliance Action Plan, making sure people and families in need of food can access the support they need.

Mrs Julie Spence, OBE, QPM, Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, said: “It was a special honour for me to nominate these four dedicated individuals for the tireless work that they do for their communities. It should be a lovely occasion and I hope that they enjoy the experience – I'm sure it will be an event to remember.”

Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales, and other Members of the Royal Family will attend the service, which this year is dedicated to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the values she demonstrated throughout her life, including duty, empathy, faith, service, kindness, compassion and support for others.

These principles are shared and personified by the inspirational guests who have been invited in recognition of their tireless work to help and care for those around them. Combining traditional and modern elements to encompass people of all faiths and none, the service will see the world-renowned Westminster Abbey choir perform some of the nation’s most beloved carols.

The carols will sit alongside musical performances by guests including Craig David, Alexis Ffrench and Samantha Barks, and a special duet from Alfie Boe and Melanie C. Poignant readings will be delivered by speakers including The Prince of Wales, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Hugh Bonneville and Kadeena Cox.