AN ex-soldier from Royston whose tireless work to help homeless veterans struggling to adjust to civilian life has been awarded an MBE for his charitable services.
Tom Wood, 60, of Grange Road, set up the charity - Help 4 Homeless Veterans - 11 years ago as he wanted to help ex-servicemen and women who happened to find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons.
The group went on to became a registered charity in England and Wales, and started to help those in need where they could.
Earlier this year they were honoured with the Queen’s Award for voluntary service - making the MBE Tom’s second award in 2020 alone.
Tom told the Chronicle: “It gives me great pleasure and pride to accept this national honour of an MBE for the work we do for the charity Help 4 Homeless Veterans created in 2010 by myself and wife Jean.
“Our motivation remains the same - we believe no veteran should be homeless.
“This honour represents the pinnacle of all the awards we at our charity have received and I hope it will encourage many other veterans to step forward to assist personnel facing serious difficulties in their lives.”
This year has been the busiest yet for the charity - they supported more than 100 army veterans, despite the fact that fundraising came to an immediate standstill due to the pandemic taking hold in March.
“It’s been a really busy year but I don’t think it’s got anything to do with lockdown, it’s more that we’re getting more well-known,” Tom added.
“We’ve been unable to do any fundraising which has been hard because we usually travel up and down the country - it’s been zilch.”
Tom found out he had been awarded the honour a month ago and is especially thankful to those who nominated him for the MBE.
“We look forward to being able to go to Buckingham Palace or meet the Lord Lieutenant once again depending on the Covid rules at the time,” he said.
“Thank you especially to those involved in nominating me, including Doncaster councillor John Healy who is the charity’s chair, Barnsley councillor Joe Hayward, our chief executive Steve Bentham-Bates and the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe.
“I got the call about a month ago and it has been really hard to to keep it quiet - not been able to tell my friends or family about it has been hard.”
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Ex-soldier bags MBE in New Year’s honours list
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