A HEREFORDSHIRE woman is set for a memorable Platinum Jubilee after receiving a very special invite.

Sonya Cary BEM, who runs the Pontrilas Post Office, near to the Herefordshire border with Wales, has a busy month ahead organising three days of events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for the village and will also be attending a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace.

She was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queens’ birthday honours last year for services to the local community in Pontrilas and other nearby villages.

Initially Mrs Cary set up a community interest company to operate the post office and shop to ensure these vital services would remain for the community.


Profits from that were then invested into a community café, twice-weekly lunch club and bingo to help combat loneliness and malnutrition in the elderly in the very rural, farming community.

She also helped support the community during lockdown by arranging grocery deliveries, provided sunday lunches to isolated people and launched a telephone wellness service for people to ring if they wanted to have a chat.

The medal was formally presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, instead of at a royal residence, due to the Covid pandemic.

However, now Mrs Cary has received an invite to Buckingham Palace and is looking forward to her visit.


She said: "To have achieved the BEM and to be invited to Buckingham Palace is great acknowledgement of everything that we have achieved in Pontrilas and all the lives that we have improved. "People often comment that there is now a real buzz and community spirit in Pontrilas and we have made a difference to the lives of many people from outlying areas too.

"The Queen is such an important role model for this country. She has always been here for this country through good times and bad."

Mrs Cary is busy organising Jubilee events for the village over the four-day bank holiday. These include a village high tea party and a royal fancy dress event.

She said there will be music, games, face-painting and plenty of excitement for the family to enjoy.

Mrs Cary said: "We are very fortunate to have such a remarkable Monarch. I have the best job, organising all the community celebrations in Pontrilas."