Widow who threw herself into community work following husband’s murder ‘humbled’ by honour

'VERY HUMBLED': Maureen Greaves at her home in High Green, Sheffield.
'VERY HUMBLED': Maureen Greaves at her home in High Green, Sheffield.
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A WIDOW who continued her work to help others after the brutal murder of her husband in Sheffield has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

Maureen Greaves, aged 65, from High Green, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in north Sheffield.

Her husband Alan, 68, was killed in an unprovoked attack as he made his way to St Saviour’s Church to play the organ on Christmas Eve 2012.

Following his death, Mrs Greaves continued the community work she and her husband started.

She said: “I couldn’t quite believe it when I read the letter from the Cabinet Office. I stood with it in my hand and kept reading it over and over – I thought ‘this is just unbelievable’ - I just couldn’t take it in.

“I feel very humbled that such an award could be given for what I thought was me living in a very normal way.”

The Church Army worker and mother-of-four was recognised for her work on the St Saviour’s Project – a church scheme which saw the couple open a food bank and charity shop to help needy members of the community.

Following her husband’s death, Mrs Greaves threw herself into the project, which has since expanded to offer a job club, financial advice and weekly community meal to local residents. Plans are also being considered for a community allotment.

She said: “I looked back to the first eight months after Alan died and thought that perhaps one of the reasons someone nominated me for this award was because I was able - even in my heart-broken state - to understand that other people were hurting themselves.

“I had a very deep understanding that others were still in pain – and it was an easing of my own pain to recognise other people were in pain and then you share that moment.

“That time was not just about receiving sympathy, it was a shared experience.”