Pickering centre co-founder to be recognised as ‘woman of the year’

Islay O'Hara

It was a double celebration at Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre in Tunbridge Wells last week.

Volunteers were invited to the mayor’s par-lour in recognition of their work, then came news the charity’s co-founder Polly Taylor had been invited to the prestigious Women of the Year lunch.

More than 50 volunteers, sponsors and guests attended the town hall reception hosted by mayor and mayoress David Elliott and Mrs June Crowhurst. Among them were Maia Kilpatrick and Jessica Beeney, who were presented with pictures of themselves with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, during her visit to Pickering.


Pickering co-founder Polly Taylor, who will join more than 400 women at the 60th anniversary Women of the Year lunch, on October 19 in London, is attending in celebration of her work and that of other Pickering volunteers over the last 11 years, helping those whose lives have been touched by cancer. In 2013, the charity received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Ser-vice and Mrs Taylor was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Each year, the charity supports about 2,500 people, those diagnosed with cancer and their families and friends.

Mrs Taylor said: “This is not about me. I hap-pen to be the public face of Pickering. This is further recognition of the amazing work of all the volunteers. Everyone at Pickering is a vol-unteer. No one gets a penny, which makes the charity unique.”

Each guest is regarded as a ‘woman of the year’. Exceptional women will receive special awards for being an inspiration, demonstrated by courage, selflessness and dedication.

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