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A 100-year-old widower finds solace in his inspiring volunteer work


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Cerith Gardiner - published on 01/31/23

King Charles III has recognized the efforts of Peter Davies with a prestigious award.

After the death of his wife of 72 years, Peter Davies decided to pour his heart and soul into helping the younger generation. So six years ago, the centenarian decided to return to school to help out as a reading volunteer.

However, the hours he has given to helping the youngsters at Dean Valley Community Primary School in England have served both pupils and the widower.

As Davies shared in a report with the BBC: “I’m sure I get more out of it than the children do. It is a lovely, warm feeling [that] I belong. I’m not this old man who lives on his own. I’m part of the community, which is great.” He added: “Plus my street cred is tremendous because I’ll be going anywhere in the village and a child will shout out ‘Hello Mr Davies’ and I feel 10 feet tall.”

Vicky McPherson, who is the school’s head teacher, also shared the impact of Davies’ efforts. “[He] has gifted his time for so many children over the last six years to instill a love of reading that we will never be able to say thank you.”

She went on to share some of his qualities: “inspirational, generous, considerate and thoughtful.”

While Davies explained that his wife’s death had left him feeling like a “lost soul,” he pointed out that volunteering at the school gave purpose to his week.

Recently, his efforts were recognized in the King’s New Year Honors list, where the World War II veteran was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM). Davies was actually the oldest person to receive the honors, and his award shines a light on the very positive contributions the elderly can still make in society, and what a wonderful part of the community they truly are.

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