Awarded to former military personnel for outstanding bravery in the service of their country.
Farmer’s son Ron Davies could have been exempt from serving in the forces during World War Two, but aged 19 he applied for the RAF volunteer reserves. As a bomb aimer he made more than 30 missions over France, Germany and Poland. France made him a Chevalier of the Legion D’Honneur for helping to liberate the country.
Kenneth Kingsley was an infantry soldier with the King’s Liverpool Regiment and heroically served in Italy during World War Two. Having watched friends lose their lives around him he later bravely escaped capture from the Germans. After being commissioned because of his courage Kenneth, from Barnsley, joined the Ghurkas as a lieutenant at the end of the war.
Richard Hargreaves volunteered for the parachute regiment in 1942 and took part in the Allied Forces invasion of Italy. He was later
awarded the Military Cross for his bravery in the battle. Later he was made a Chevalier of the French Legion D’Honneur for his part in helping to liberate France. By the end of the war he was still only 25.
When Arthur Woodhouse was 19 he joined the Merchant Navy War Service and sailed dangerous voyages across the Atlantic between Surrey docks and Montreal carrying military cargo. In 1942 navigating around the Cape of Good Hope Arthur, from Norwich helped rescue 54 crew from a steamer torpedoed by a German U-boat.
Awarded to a member of the public who has overcome adversity to take on an exceptional challenge.
Ahmed Hamza’s life was drastically changed when aged 12 he lost a foot and an arm when a missile blasted his home near Baghdad. In hospital he met another child amputee Ali Abbas, who had lost both arms. Now in England Ahmed is not only Ali’s carer but his best friend. Between them they have just one arm. Ali helps him in the bathroom, and assists him in every single way. Ali calls Ahmed his saviour.
Peter Dukes, who has volunteered as a lifeguard on Lowestoft beach for the last 60 years, discovered a small lump on his cheek which led to him undergoing 12 hours of surgery for skin cancer. Despite losing an ear, within weeks Peter, from Norwich, was back swimming, and even now, covers about four miles a week.
Although ex-soldier Wayne Roberts escaped physical injury during the Bosnia war he was severely affected by a mortar bomb which left him with serious hearing loss. Wayne, from Cannock, at first found transition to civilian life difficult but now with the help of hearing aids he is running his own business and has helped raise £60,000 for charity.
Former soldier Jamie McAnsh regularly ran marathons and climbed peaks. Then one morning he woke unable to move his legs.
He was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome caused by damaged nerves. But now Jamie, 35, from Cwmbran, inspires others by his positive approach which has seen him play for the Welsh wheelchair rugby team. In January, 2015, he decided to task himself with new limits and set himself a challenge each month.
Awarded to a member of the public who has made a significant or inspirational contribution to their community.
As a child Mark McGowan had both his legs amputated below the knee because of a bone condition but now he dedicates his life helping to improve the lives of others. By using the power of football and prayer, church minister Mark works with children from disadvantaged families in Farnborough providing football coaching, reading and cheerleading lessons.
Harry Grenville’s Jewish family had their packaging company near Stuttgart taken by Hitler’s SS. As a child he was evacuated to England while his parents were sent to Auschwitz where they perished. These days the Holocaust survivor bravely recounts his and his family’s story through his voluntary work in the hope it teaches others about forgiveness, reconciliation and the kindness of strangers.
Around 200 people are fed every day at a homeless project in Edinburgh and the inspiration behind the scheme is Sister Aelred Timmins– who has been dubbed the Mother Teresa of Scotland. Her team provide morning and evening meals, toilet and shower facilities, and a place to call ‘home’ to some of the city’s most vulnerable people.
Irene Humphreys and Audrey Roberts have even been hailed as heroes by Britain in Bloom. The two neighbours have transformed their street’s formerly litter-strewn back alley in Liverpool into an explosion of colour with thousands of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees as well as a chicken run, pagoda and children’s play area.
Awarded to a dog or other animal who has transformed the life of their owner.
German short-haired pointer Boris and his owner Steve Nelson, from Bolton, are volunteers with the Search and Rescue Dog Association and up until recently were the only qualified scent-specific trailing dog team in the country. They travel all over the UK to support police and other search teams. Today Boris receives about four calls a month saving lots of lives.
Crowded places could result in massive sensory overload for 11-year-old Alex White, of Banbury, who has high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. All this changed when Mabel, his assistance dog through Dogs for Good, arrived. The pair were matched two years ago and she has become his ‘absolute lifeline’.
Daisy, a red fox Labrador, is trained to identify human disease through odour by the charity Medical Detection Dogs. The organisation was founded by her psychologist owner Dr Claire Guest, from Buckingham. The importance of Daisy’s training became apparent when she detected Claire’s own breast cancer.
Alice Halstead had spent three and a half years in hospital and had a life expectancy of just 18 after being diagnosed with auto immune insulin syndrome and type one diabetes. When the charity Medical Detection Dogs matched her with Holly, a curly coated Labrador Retriever, five years ago, Alice’s life was transformed. Holly is trained to detect when blood sugar is too high or low and is 40 minutes ahead of the blood glucose meter. In that five years, Holly has alerted her more than 4,750 times.