On Tuesday 14th April, 2014 four FAN Trustees went to Windsor Castle to collect the MBE which Gill felt she accepted on behalf of all of you who support FAN Groups. Three Trustees (Gill, David and Zahra) are serving at the moment and Dave is a former Trustee. Gill was awarded the MBE for 'Services to the Community' through the setting up of FAN Groups. She knows that FAN Groups are successful because everyone who comes makes them a success, by reaching out their hands in a spirit of friendship.
When Gill was first offered the award, she told the Trustees that she was going to refuse the MBE but we urged her to accept. We know it is her original idea and we understand too that so many people (hundreds) have helped to make it a success - in fact Gill thinks that all of you reading this who come to FAN Meetings should consider it to be YOUR award.
We celebrate one world - one large human family across the globe. We all know the gift is ours - we meet so many wonderful people: local people,newcomers from elsewhere in the UK and those who are students, visitors or have come to live here for a while, from the four corners of the world. We all know that we gain so much in friendship and understanding of our world.
If you haven't come yet - why not give FAN Meetings a try? Come just a few times to see just how much you can get from the experience. Take a look a the 'Meeting Finder' Tab to find a meeting near you.
A lot of people have asked Gill what the queen was like, so I have persuaded her to add a post script 'The Queen was charming. I was impressed that she seemed to understand what I was talking about and asked interesting questions. No-one was standing beside her giving her questions and she spoke individually to all the people who received Awards. She asked me when FAN Groups started and was impressed when I said that they had been running more than 10 years and that people had come from more than 90 countries.'
'She asked if there were any Groups outside of Cardiff. I told her that Rev Anthony Shamoon had been in Cardiff and returned to live in Sindh Province in Pakistan. He had written to ask if he could run FAN Groups as he thought they were just what communities could find helpful in Pakistan. We explained that we could not be responsible for Groups in other countries as we would have no way of knowing if they were working according to FAN Charity principles but if he felt the FAN Meeting structure would be helpful of course he could use it. He has now been running 2 FAN Groups in Sindh Province for over a year.'