Ann Godfrey, who organised Re-engage tea parties for 45 years sadly passed away recently leaving a huge hole in the Royal Wootton Bassett group.

Forever dedicated, Ann, who was 82, was preparing to send out invitations to former and current volunteers, guests, families and local dignitaries to mark the group’s 45th anniversary in May 2020 when the pandemic brought her plans to a halt.

During the lockdown period she became unwell and died on February 24th. At a recent tea party the Royal Wootton Bassett tea party group met to remember Ann and her long voluntary service.

Group coordinator Alison Gardner said: “Ann will be sorely missed. She was a great organiser and the life and soul of our tea parties. She always made sure everyone was included and nobody sat alone without company. Ann was lovely, kind, caring and very community spirited. She never forgot a birthday and liked to give presents at Christmas and Easter. There’s no doubt she touched and enhanced the lives of hundreds over the years.

“She was extremely dedicated and was proud to say that she had only had ever had to cancel one tea party in all those years and that was because the host fell ill on the day and couldn’t be replaced.”

Ann, a grandmother of four, was a medical secretary at the local hospital until she retired. She also volunteered for the Samaritans, where she met her late husband Peter and was a church warden at St. Bartholomews, where her well-attended funeral service took place on March 24th.

As well as establishing the Royal Wootton Bassett group in 1975 she also set-up one in Swindon, which she helped run for a number of years.

In 2018 Ann was given a Civic Award from the Royal Wootton Bassett Council in recognition of her service to the community. Ann was also due to get a long service award from the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, Lady Lansdowne – who is also a tea party host – in January but unfortunately was too ill to receive it. Her family was very proud to receive it on her behalf.

“When we remembered Ann it was an occasion for good, shared memories,” added Alison. “And we couldn’t forget the parting phrase she always used when thanking a host for staging a tea party: ‘Can we come again next year please!’”

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