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Hospice supporter enjoys Royal Garden Party

28 May 2024

A longstanding supporter of Birmingham Hospice has received further recognition for his positive impact on the community after being invited to attend a Royal Garden Party.

John Smith, from Northfield, received a British Empire Medal last year in recognition of his services to music and charity after raising almost £50,000 for us by giving talks with a musical theme to groups and associations in the area.

This was followed up with an invitation to the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 21 May, which he attended with his wife Jean.

There are normally four garden parties each year – three at Buckingham Palace and one at Holyrood House – where a wide range of people from all walks of life are invited in recognition of their public service.

On this occasion, the Royal Family were represented by Prince William, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princesses Beatrice and Eugene, Zara and Mike Tindall, and Peter Philips.

John said: “We had a most enjoyable time, although it poured the whole afternoon and umbrellas were the order of the day. The eats were amazing and we both found a new skill – eating in pouring rain while balancing a plate with a cup of tea and an umbrella. I’m not sure if we will ever use it again!”

John has given over 1,500 talks, drawing on his vast musical knowledge, in return for donations to the hospice. His yearly tally peaked at 133 in 2007, including one occasion that year where he gave three different talks in three locations on the same day.