ONE of the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s (GNAAS) biggest supporters has been awarded an MBE for her tireless charity work.
Judy Kitching, who leads the team behind the CornShed music festival events, has raised more than £150,000 for GNAAS over the years.
The 64-year-old organises and runs the annual events from her home at Sexhow Park Farm, near Hutton Rudby, North Yorkshire.
The CornShed music festival last year had its 26th birthday bash, while a beer festival also held at the farm raised even more for charity.
Mrs Kitching found out she had been awarded the MBE in November, when the Cabinet Office wrote to her. But she was instructed to keep the news to herself until the official announcement was made last week.
“I am just overwhelmed,” she said. “It was awful having to sit on the news for so long, but when I told my family and friends it was a lovely moment.”
Mrs Kitching paid tribute to the team of volunteers, including family and friends, for their contribution.
“There are an awful lot of people who help me out, so I will be collecting the MBE on their behalf,” she said.
Mrs Kitching will collect the MBE at a ceremony held later this year.
Mandy Drake, deputy director at GNAAS, said: “We would like to congratulate Judy and thank her once more for all of her work for the charity. She really is an inspiration and it is entirely fitting that she has received this recognition.”
As well as GNAAS, Mrs Kitching also raises money for other local causes.
Both the beer festival and the music festival return in 2013. The music festival takes place on June 28th and 29th, while the beer festival takes place on August 31st. For more information, please visit www.thecornshed.co.uk