Honiton hospital's Cathy has a date with the Queen

PUBLISHED: 13:16 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 00:00 16 June 2010

Cathy and Brian Lee outside Buckingham Palace.

Cathy and Brian Lee outside Buckingham Palace.

FORMER Honiton Community Hospital worker Cathy Lee has had her longstanding service to the NHS recognised by an exciting visit to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

FORMER Honiton Community Hospital worker Cathy Lee has had her longstanding service to the NHS recognised by an exciting visit to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Cathy was nominated for her 18 years' service as a nursing auxiliary, after starting her well-earned retirement earlier this year. She was short-listed from a long list of nominations to receive the invitation.

Cathy said: "The first I knew about my nomination was a knock on the door and the postman saying: 'I don't often deliver one of these!' I thought it was a joke and then realised that the invitation to Buckingham palace was genuine.

"I didn't know who'd nominated me until I got into work the next day and told some colleagues who knew about the invitation.

"The garden party was in the afternoon, but we first had to queue and show the right identification. Then, we were led up some red carpet steps and through the biggest hallway I've ever seen to the garden at the back.

"The Queen arrived at 4pm but, unfortunately, I was a bit too far back in the crowd to see her properly. I did see her green hat though!

"I was delighted to be nominated. It's lovely to think that someone thought enough of me to go to such an effort. Although the weather was drizzly, I had a lovely time. I wouldn't have missed the day for the world."

Andrea Toman, lead matron for maternity services for Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT), who nominated Cathy, said: "Cathy has been incredibly dedicated and we were so excited about her award. I think it's great that someone on the front line has been publicly recognised for all their hard work.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald