A man who has been fundraising for the best part of 35 years is to receive a British Empire Medal for his charity efforts.
Martin Crowhurst first got a taste for helping others aged just 15 when he was enlisted to manage the entertainment side of a fun day at his brother’s boarding school – they raised £3,000 for the first time.
Many years later and having raised an estimated £100,000 for various good causes Martin, of Gadebridge, was nominated for the award by former Mayor of Dacorum Mayor Bert Chapman.
Councillor Chapman said: “He organises so many things for the mayors’ charities.
“He has raised thousands of pounds and I just thought he needed a little bit of recognition for what he does.
“He is just a quiet person who gets on with it.”
Martin, who will mark his 50th birthday this year, has known that he was in line for the prestigious award since October.
“It has been very hard to keep that secret,” he said.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s just really nice to know that people do think a lot of me when I do fundraising.”
After his fundraising success as a teenager Martin, who is a also full time carer to his mother Ivy Crowhurst, joined the Hemel Hempstead Carnival Society and when the council decided to step away from the annual event held in Gadebridge Park he and others took up the mantle.
As well as this Martin has been involved in lots of other fundraising events for various charities from festive stalls and fun days to supermarket bag packing. Each year he supports the borough mayor’s chosen charity – currently children’s home nursing cause the Pepper Foundation.
Martin said: “The charities get something from it and I also get to see people enjoying themselves when I put events on.”
The accolade means Martin will be invited to one of the Queen’s summer Garden parties and he will be taking along ever-supportive mum Ivy, who has also done more than her fair share for charities over the years. “I’m very excited,” said Martin.
And he is not the only one to bag a top award under the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. Olympic quilter Irene Heathcote, of Grovehill, will receive a British Empire Medal for being the driving force behind a project to present every athlete in the London Games with a handmade pennant.
And Hospice of St Francis director Doctor Ros Taylor has been awarded the MBE for her services to hospice care over the last 17 years.