Congratulations to Neil Cole, Retained Firefighter, for being awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List ‘For services to the community of the Isle of Wight’.
Working as a retained firefighter since 1978, the Shanklin man is a keen charity worker. He is also a longshoreman on Shanklin beach and was the Isle of Wight Emergency Services Person of the Year.
Unlike knighthoods or other honours which are handed out personally by the Queen, the BEM is awarded by lord lieutenants across the country.
British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours List.
Founded in 1917, the British Empire Medal sometimes called the “working class” gong – was scrapped in 1993 but re-introduced during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year to recognise “the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities“.
It provides the opportunity to recognise a greater number of people playing their part to create a Big Society. In total, 72% of awards in the New Year’s Honours List are for people who are actively engaged in charitable or voluntary work within their local community.
Read more New Year Honours 2013 click here
In total 1,223 people have been recommended to The Queen for an award.
- 1,068 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level, 286 at BEM, 535 at MBE and 247 at OBE.
- 72% of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity.
- There are 572 successful women candidates in the List, representing 47% of the total. Women candidates include 13 Dames, 40 CBEs and 2 CBs.
- 5% per cent of the successful candidates come from ethnic minority communities.
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