Charity chief executive ‘hugely honoured’ to be attending Queen’s funeral

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The chief executive of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland has said she is “hugely honoured and privileged” to be attending the Queen’s state funeral.

Jane-Claire Judson will be part of the 2,000-strong congregation at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

The Queen was patron of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland for 70 years and had “a long association with the organisation” and the work it carries out.

Ms Judson told the PA news agency: “I think the feeling is one of being hugely honoured and privileged to be able to take part in something that is very sombre, but is also very important to such a large number of people.

“And I do feel very privileged that I am able to do that on behalf of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and all of our staff and volunteers.

“The Queen was our patron, so for us it’s extremely special and important to pay our respects.

“So from that perspective, it’s both sad but also an opportunity to celebrate her life and all the support that she gave to the charity.”

Ms Judson said the Queen’s “consistent support” was something that has been valued by the organisation.

“The Queen herself was hugely passionate and committed around public service and volunteering,” she told PA.

“We’re one of Scotland’s largest volunteering charities, so it meant a lot to our volunteers to have that recognition, that support.”

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland was one of 60 recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award in 2012, one of the highest awards given to volunteer groups in the UK.

Ms Judson said the opportunity for the organisation’s volunteers and service users to meet the Queen at that time was “so valuable” and gave them “memories people will keep with them forever”.

She added: “That sense of connection and recognition, the support from Her Majesty the Queen, was incredibly important to the organisation.

“The 70 years that she engaged with the organisation, you know, that thread of support, consistent support, is definitely something that we valued and will miss.”