A CHARITY worker from Ombersley has been recognised for 40 years of hard work in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Philip Thomas Sawyer, who is based in the Worcestershire village, is receiving the British Empire Medal, for his work as a trustee for the Six Masters charity in Worcester.

The charity was established by Queen Elizabeth I in 1561 as the result of a Royal Charter to manage the grammar school and a number of almshouses in the city, and Mr Sawyer, who is now 80, joined the trustees in 1974 at around the same time as he moved to Ombersley to live.

He stood as chairman for the charity from 1978 to 1999, overseeing the grammar school move into independence in 1984, a move which took it out of the remit of the charity, and still remains one of the trustees, helping to manage a two blocks of ancient almshouses in Worcester, as well as making donations to good causes.

The charity helps the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those facing hardship, to benefit from educational or medical help.

He said: “I’ve grown up with it. I’ve been a member for almost 40 years and it’s become part of my life.”

Mr Sawyer, who also works as a trustee for the Ombersley Memorial Hall, has been honoured with the British Empire Medal, which is awarded to citizens for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. It means he will now be able to use the letters ‘BEM’ after his name.

The honour was established in 1922 to replace the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service, and is divided into civil and military medals.

The honour is something he hadn’t expected at all.

He added: “I’m absolutely shocked. It was a complete surprise. I don’t even know who nominated me. It’s a real honour, but it was totally unexpected.”

Mr Sawyer, also gives his time as honourable secretary for the Three Choirs Festival, and works with the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club, and Worcestershire Rowing Club, as well as acting as governor of Worcestershire NHS Trust and the Royal Grammar School, and he is a life member of the Clothiers Company.

He thinks he’s unlikely to meet the Queen as a result of the honour, adding that he believes there will be a smaller local ceremony to mark the occasion.