Ageing expert and charity volunteer amongst those recognised in New Year’s Honours List


John helps a resident during a carpentry class

Director of Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing, Professor Louise Robinson, and volunteer for The Royal Star & Garter Homes, John Parvin, were amongst those honoured in the New Year’s Honours List.

Professor Robinson was awarded a Damehood for her services to primary care, while John received the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Professor Robinson said: “I am overwhelmed and absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way for what, to me, has been not a job but a lifelong passion to improve the care of older people, especially those living with dementia.”

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As director of the Institute for Ageing, Professor Robinson looks after more than 700 academics and was a key figure in the successful £40m bid to Government for Newcastle University to host the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA). NICA is among the first in the country to bring together business, academia and the public to develop innovative products and services that make older lives better.

John, who began volunteering for The Royal Star & Garter Homes 25 years ago after his father in law moved into the provider’s Richmond Home, said: “It was a hell of a surprise when I found out. I thought ‘what have I done to deserve this?’”

The 82-year-old started off as a volunteer with the provider before becoming a carer. John returned to volunteering with The Royal Star & Garter Homes after retiring in 2001.

His wife Lesley and sister-in-law Shirley have also volunteered at the Richmond and Surbiton Homes since 1993. His brother-in-law Terry is also a long-time volunteer.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes’ Chief Executive Andy Cole said: “We are delighted that John’s dedication to the charity and our residents has been recognised in this way. The Royal Star & Garter Homes relies on volunteers such as John, Lesley, Shirley and Terry to help provide our veterans with the best possible care. After many years’ service in our Richmond and Surbiton Homes, the British Empire Medal is a hugely fitting honour for John to receive.”


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