INSPIRATIONAL SOUTH HAMPSHIRE MAN RECOGNISED WITH
NEW YEARS NATIONAL HONOUR
10 Buckingham Palace Road London SW1W 0QP
An inspirational South Hampshire man who has raised almost £12million for charity has been recognised with a national honour.
Les is one of 29 medalists who was honoured at a prestigious ceremony on January 26 th 2017, at the Palace of Westminster, hosted by The Lord Dholakia, Baron Navnit Dholakia OBE, PC, DL, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in The House of Lords.
All BCA recipients have had a positive impact on society, undertaking various activities in support of a number of causes. Each will receive a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medalists are also invited to use the post nominal initials after their name i.e. Les Heyhoe BCAv and may wear the medal at social, civic, private, ceremonial and military occasions.
Leslie Heyhoe (known as Les), aged 60, has been given a British Citizen Award / medal for his services to Volunteering and Charitable Giving.
The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are limited annual awards in each of the eight categories and recognizes ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.
The full list of categories for the British Citizen Awards are: –
BCAc for Service to Community BCAi for Service to Industry BCAa for Service to Arts BCAe for Services to Education BCAh for services to Healthcare BCAb for Service to Business BCAv for Volunteering & Charitable Giving BCAo for International Achievement
Les, of Gosport, first began fundraising at the age of 16 in his home town of Dereham in Norfolk, with the encouragement of the Wyndham Lions. Les came up with the idea of collecting aluminum ring pulls from drink cans to be sold for scrap metal. On joining the Royal Navy as a Writer, Les encouraged everyone to get involved, going by the motto ‘Give Les a Ring’, and raised over £1m by the time he was 18.
Gaining a sense of achievement, and more importantly, the sincere and genuine gratitude of thanks, Les decided to devote his spare time, effort and energy to voluntary fundraising for local and national causes and charities, which he has done for 44 years.
Sponsors Known locally as ‘The Man of Many Millions of Hampshire’, Les can be found in the local pubs of Gosport, as he is the quizmaster for three pubs, The Seahorse (Mondays), The Five Alls (Wednesdays) and The Clarence Tavern (Thursdays). As well as setting and asking questions, Les hosts a variety of fundraising games, which has raised thousands of pounds alone.
Other fundraising events have included organising balls, dinners and dances, abseiling, and a sponsored bike ride from Buckingham Palace to Cardiff Castle. Les has become renowned for organising ‘Royal Navy Style’ charity horse racing afternoon/evenings, which has become his most loved and supported event, attracting up to 400 people and over the past decades raising hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In addition to fundraising, Les will offer his support, encouragement and advice to other people and organisations, often travelling across the country to help people improve and adapt to raise more funding and reach their goals and objectives.
Speaking about his nomination, Les said: “I am of course extremely thrilled and delighted to have been nominated and selected to receive this prestigious award, and throughout my years of voluntary fundraising this has to be the pinnacle of my recognized successes. I am particularly proud of the fact that there are to-date only a dozen people in Great Britain that have been recognized to receive this honour and I am humbly one of them”.
On being nominated for a BCA, one of his nominees said this of him, “Les is a very modest man, who is well-liked amongst his peers and the local community, and has a heart of gold. I am delighted Les will be receiving this award, as he deserves recognition for his relentless pursuit of caring for others less fortunate than himself and the dedication and devotion he has given to voluntary fundraising.”
Dates of issue: 04.01.17 at 00:01
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Notes to Editors
The British Citizen Award recognises individuals that positively impact others and highlights the positive aspects of multi-cultural communities, workplaces, community groups and charities throughout the UK. It is accessible to all and serves to celebrate the good things that make Britain great.
Nominees who are granted a BCA are invited to attend the Presentation Day at the Palace of Westminster. Presentations are held twice annually in January and July.