A LONG-TIME volunteer at Parkinson’s UK has been recognised for his dedication with an invitation to attend the prestigious Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Nominated by the chair of Parkinson’s UK Barnsley branch, Terry Kendall, 87-year-old George Spencer was honoured at Buckingham Palace for his years of service with the charity.

For the past 22 years, George has been an active and dedicated member of the local Parkinson’s UK support group, playing a key role in setting up the Barnsley branch all the way back in 2001.

George’s late wife, Grace, lived with Parkinson’s and having seen Grace’s issues with mobility, he initiated a weekly exercise class for people with Parkinson’s, which continues to be well supported to this day.

George said: “I was so honoured to have been nominated for a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

“When the invitation arrived in its official envelope from the palace, I couldn’t have been more excited.

“My daughter, Jane, felt just the same and set about planning our trip to London.

“We queued outside the palace along with thousands of other guests, huddled under umbrellas and once our papers were checked by the police at the gates, we entered the lovely gardens.

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“There was a band playing and people were beginning to form a walkway across the lawn for the party.

“We managed to see the Duke of Gloucester and Peter Phillips, who stopped to talk with the Mayor of Wakefield who was just in front of us.”

Terry Kendall, chair of the Barnsley and District branch said: “George has made a fantastic, meaningful contribution to the success of the Barnsley branch and to the lives of people with Parkinson’s and their families, as well as the wider Barnsley community.

“George’s meticulous administration and unwavering dedication have laid strong foundations for our branch, which stand firm to this day.”