Inspirational couple recognised for services to young people

Barbara and Bert Bonsor at the Boston Standard Pride Awards ENGEMN00120130705142256
Barbara and Bert Bonsor at the Boston Standard Pride Awards ENGEMN00120130705142256

An ‘inspirational’ couple who have given more than 65 years of service to young people have been recognised for their efforts in the latest New Year Honours list.

Bert Bonsor, 90, and wife Barbara, 85, of Wrangle Bank, are to receive British Empire Medals (BEMs) in light of their long-standing involvement with Wrangle Youth Club.

The pair have served on the committee since the club was formed in 1948 and have raised thousands of pounds for it over the decades.

They discovered they were in line for the honour through a phone call from the Cabinet Office a few weeks ago, with the public announcment following last Tuesday.

Barbara said the news had left them ‘shocked’.

She said: “We are still recovering.”

BEMs, in the Government’s words, recognise ‘a sustained, local contribution or innovative, high-impact work of a relatively short duration’.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “They have always shown interest in every event at the club, as well as every young person that attended. If they sense that a young person is experiencing difficulties or problems, they always make that individual aware that they are there as someone to talk to if every they need it.

“They have always had the attitude of never letting any young person down and this is shown through their inspirational approach to youth work.”

Wrangle Youth Club was founded as part of a post-war Government initiative to provide activities for youngsters.

Barbara initially got involved by providing needlework classes, while Bert ran carpentry sessions.

Barbara said she and her husband took great satisfaction from ‘making young people happy and interested in things they do’, but paid tribute to the team at the club.

She said: “We could not have done it without the help of parents, friends and our daughter, Jayne, who does most of the organising and running of the club.”

Wrangle Youth Club meets on Fridays, from 7.30pm to 10pm, in Snowdens Bridge, Wrangle, PE22 9DL.

For more information, call 07751 051862.