British Empire Medal Award

Mrs Dee Gent, the Manager of The Rainbow Centre, RAF Marham was one of 293 people to be awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM).

The 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June included BEM commendations for the first time in nearly 20 years. The BEM commendation was created in 1917, although discontinued in 1993 it was reinstated for the Diamond Jubilee.

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson, presented Mrs Gent with her BEM at a ceremony held at the Great Hospital, Bishopgate, Norwich. Mrs Gent was one of only three recipients of the BEM in Norfolk. Lord Lieutenant Jewson expressed his “great pleasure” to be presenting the commendations on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, before citations about each recipient were read out in front of gathered dignitaries, families and friends.

Mrs Gent was praised for her “outstanding contribution” to children’s services at RAF Marham, as well as her tireless fundraising which included raising £90,000 for The Rainbow Centre and charities such as the Macmillan Cancer Support and SSAFA. “Countless young parents have relied upon the support of Mrs Gent at the centre throughout the years,” stated Deputy Lieutenant, Holly Rawkins when she read out Mrs Gent’s citation.

Mrs Gent helped set up The Rainbow Centre at RAF Marham, which now has more than 300 children on its books and provides a range of full Day Care, Before and After School Clubs, “Walking Buses” and School Holiday Clubs. The centre was formally opened by the Her Majesty The Queen in 2004 and has since gone on to achieve successive “Outstanding” ratings from Ofsted.

The RAF Marham community is very proud of Mrs Gent and her justly deserved award.

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