Volunteer Award for Castle Historian
Former Kimbolton School teacher receives award from Save the Children, as the charity marks over 50 years of interaction and fundraising with the School.
Castle Historian Mrs Nora Butler has received a Volunteering Silver Award from Save the Children to mark over 50 years as a volunteer for the charity. Mr Jonathan Belbin, Kimbolton School Headmaster, also accepted an award on behalf of the School, in recognition of its support for the charity since 1972.
Nora’s involvement with Save the Children started in 1969, when, as leader of Kimbolton Guides, she encouraged the girls to collect used postage stamps to support the charity. At the same time, her husband Roy (a Geography teacher) introduced a similar activity among the boys at Kimbolton School. The pair’s involvement increased from 1972, when they became founder members of the Kimbolton and District Branch of Save the Children, with Nora as its secretary. Over the years Kimbolton School has given huge support to the local branch, hosting sponsored walks in the grounds and many events in the Castle, and raising thousands of pounds through activities including non-uniform days, sponsored cycle rides and collections at the Preparatory School carol services. Nora joined the School’s History department as a part-time teacher in 1981. She and Roy were Houseparents to Kimbolton House boarders from 1977 to 1992; their own children Catherine and Richard also attended the school.
Since retiring from teaching in 2002, Nora has remained active in the school and local community, as Chairman of Kimbolton Local History Society, which meets at the Castle; through her involvement with St. Andrew’s Church; and as a Save the Children volunteer speaker and secretary of the local branch. She and Roy continue to fundraise enthusiastically for Save the Children, with the annual Inter-Village Quiz in the Castle State Rooms as a highlight of the year. Nora is also our Castle Historian and Visits Organiser, over the years welcoming thousands of people to enjoy tours of the Castle, Heritage Room and grounds.
Mr Matt Reynolds, Save the Children’s Head of Volunteering, said: “Nora is always keen to explore new fundraising ideas and adapt to changing circumstances. Keeping the community involved by engaging with children about Christmas Jumper Day, organising collections, helping with Royal visits, is invaluable and really boosts awareness of our cause. She has continued to fundraise despite the pandemic, setting up a Justgiving page as an alternative to house-to-house collections. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. We really do appreciate it.”
Nora commented: "I was surprised and delighted to receive the award, which should really be shared with Roy and with all the members of our local branch, who over the years have put so much effort into fundraising for Save the Children. I’m happy to be involved with such a wonderful organisation, which has brought together the School and the local community for nearly half a century. I hope that our support and co-operation will continue long into the future.”
Mr Belbin added: “Whilst Nora might have sung our praises, I really do feel that all the praise should go her way rather than ours. Nora retires as Castle Historian at the end of this academic year; we thank her for her dedication and wish her all the very best. Nora’s knowledge of Kimbolton history is unsurpassed - she has inspired generations of pupils and visitors to our school.”