Norwich community leader and chair of Norwich Home Watch Association Baldassare ‘Guido’ Guidone honoured by invite to garden party with the Queen at Sandringham

A colourful and well-liked community worker has been left speechless after receiving an invitation from the Queen.

Baldassare Guidone – known as Guido – has been invited to a garden party at Sandringham.

The former restaurant owner, who is 57 on Friday, is a prolific volunteer and chairs Norwich Home Watch.

Mr Guidone, of Orchard Close, Thorpe St Andrew, said: 'To be a foreigner and be given this honour is something I cannot put into words.

'More than one English friend has joked with me that they couldn't get an invite.

'My wife always says I am more English than Italian.

'I love living here, anything is possible in this country.'

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Mr Guidone has lived in Norwich for 37 years. Born in Sorrento in southern Italy, he fell in love with England while working as a chef before opening a restaurant, the Pink Rose on St Benedict's Street.

He was nominated for the invitation by Norfolk County Council Labour leader George Nobbs, for his work with Home Watch and representing tenants, among other projects.

Mr Nobbs said: 'I spoke with people in my ward about who to nominate and Guido's name kept coming up.

'People like him deserve this recognition, what he does is very demanding and often thankless, and he is always cheerful and full of energy.'

Mr Guidone is married to Beryl, originally from Lowestoft, and they have three sons, two based in Norwich.

Do you volunteer in your community? Contact Evening News reporter Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or