THE Henley town medal has been awarded to a company for the first time
THE Henley town medal has been awarded to a company for the first time.
Investment firm Invesco Perpetual, which is based at Perpetual Park, off Reading Road, Henley, was recognised for its contributions to the community.
Until now, the medal has only been given to individuals.
The other recipients were Richard Reed, a former news editor of the Henley Standard, for helping to raise the town’s profile and for his charity work and Brian Hughes, who is standard bearer for the Henley and Peppard branch of the Royal British Legion and a long-serving Poppy Appeal collector.
The medals were presented by the Mayor Lorraine Hillier during a ceremony at the town hall on Friday night.
Invesco Perpetual was founded in 1973 by Sir Martyn Arbib and is one of the largest companies of its kind in the UK, managing more than £85billion worth of assets.
It is the main sponsor of Henley Rugby Club and sponsors Henley Town FC’s Triangle ground, off Mill Lane. It also supports AFC Henley, Henley Hockey Club, Henley Cricket Club and the River & Rowing Museum, where a gallery is named in its honour.
The company pays for the large Christmas tree that is erected in Falaise Square every year and invests in events such as the Henley half marathon, the Henley Festival, Henley Youth Festival, Henley Women’s Regatta and the annual fireworks display at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed.
The company was nominated jointly by the Mayor and town councillor Stefan Gawrysiak.
Cllr Hillier told guests at the ceremony: “I don’t think there’s anyone in Henley who hasn’t been touched by the company’s good works. This is a break from tradition but it’s worth it.”
Richard Underwood, the company’s head of investment oversight, who collected the medal, said: “It’s wonderful to see the symbiotic relationship that’s formed between the community and the company.”
Mr Reed, 67, joined the Henley Standard as assistant news editor in 2001 and became news editor three years later before retiring in 2012.
He started his career as a reporter with the Banbury Advertiser in 1963 and later worked as a photographer for the Reading Chronicle, the Reading Evening Post and the Daily Mirror before running his own picture agency.
Mr Reed, of Stuart Close, Emmer Green, has volunteered for numerous charities and community causes including the Chiltern Centre for disabled children, Henley in Bloom, the Lest We Forget war memorial project and the Henley Handybus, which he drives on occasion. His partner Jan Sutton is one of Henley in Bloom’s Gardening Buddies.
Mr Reed recently finished editing a second volume of the Faces of Henley, a book of photographs of residents which is being sold for charity.
Town councillor Will Hamilton, who nominated him, said: “He is the most fantastic person and deserves it for all his amazing work. He always steps in to help whenever there is a need, be it bucket collections or picking up litter.”
Mr Reed said: “I’m very honoured and humbled by this. I feel I shouldn’t really be up here as I can see lots of people in this room who deserve it more.
“The organisation that deserves it most is the Henley Standard. It does what local newspapers should do, which is supporting its community."
Mr Hughes, 83, was nominated by Deputy Mayor Julian Brookes.
He has personally raised more than £53,000 for the Poppy Appeal over the past 20 years. His house-to-house visits still represent about 40 per cent of takings from street collections.
He regularly visits schools to talk about his role and regularly collects for the 1940 Dunkirk Veterans’ Association and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
He is standard bearer for the Oxfordshire branch of the British Legion and has carried the county standard at 79 repatriations at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, honouring 175 personnel killed in recent conflicts.
Mr Hughes, who lives in Harpsden Road, Henley, with his wife Ursula, said: “I’m a born and bred citizen of this great town, as were my parents and grandparents, so I’m very proud to accept this medal.
“Many thanks are due to everyone who has helped me over the years and made this presentation possible.”