Two women received a surprise honour for their service to the community at a civic service event.

A service took place in St Edburg's Church in Bicester yesterday (Sunday, September 4) from 3pm to 4pm which saw military officers, councillors and town mayors gather to present two women from Bicester with Freedom of the Town awards.

After the service a parade formed of military personnel made its way to Garth Park, where attendees sat down to a reception and enjoyed music from a brass band.

The two recipients were Janet Ray, the founder of Bicester Food Bank and Jill Edwards, a long-serving Beaver, Cub and Scout leader.

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Mayor of Bicester Alex Thrupp said in his speech about Mrs Ray: “Janet Ray BEM, through the founding of the Bicester Food Bank, has delivered sustained and lasting service to the community of Bicester, such that it has had a positive impact on the wellbeing of many people in the town.

And speaking about Mrs Edwards, Mr Thrupp said: “Jill Edwards, through long, dedicated and eminent service over 50 years as a Beaver, Cub and Scout leader, has inspired hundreds of young people to do their best, do their duty and uphold the Scout law.

“The sustained service has enabled many young people within the Town of Bicester to experience the adventures and personal development that scouting brings.”

Mr Thrupp said he wanted to thank Bicester Town Council staff, Cherwell District Council and the military for closing the roads for the event.  


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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