Two Buckinghamshire residents have been awarded British Empire Medals in recognition of their charitable and fund raising works in their local communities.
On Wednesday 13th November 2019, Sean Wheeler, from Marlow and Trudie Bird from Milton Keynes were presented with their awards by the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, at a ceremony held at the Milton Keynes Council Chamber.
For the past 26 years Sean has volunteered with the HIV charity, Thames Valley Positive Support (TVPS). Sean started out working as a buddy in 1993, supporting people who were too ill to come to the centre and assisting them in day to day tasks.
Over the years Sean’s role has grown and developed. He was subsequently invited to join the board of trustees, has held the post of vice chair and is currently the chair of the charity, having been in this post for the past 8 years.
Sean’s successful career in transforming businesses in the hospitality industry has kept him busy but it has not stopped him using his free time to support the young and those experiencing challenge in the hospitality industry. He has also served as a trustee for the Springboard Charity (which provides young people in the leisure, hospitality and tourist industry with advice and training) for 10 years and is also on the fund raising and events board of the charity, Hospitality Action which helps people in the industry who have hit hard times to get back on their feet.
He also chairs the Hospitality Employer-Led College Accreditation Board which awards the People 1st International College Accreditation to colleges that deliver first class training, promote innovation and nurture aspiring talent in the industry.
Trudie Bird has used her personal experience of the loss of a child and her passion for health and fitness to dedicate a great part of her life to supporting others and raising funds for charity.
Her son Harry was born with Spina Bifida and died at birth. Trudie has used the experience to help others coping with similar circumstances. Trudie and her husband, who have two other sons, used their experience to support another family in a similar situation, providing practical help and support.
Trudie was spurred on to set up a running group to train for the London Marathon and went on to raise over £5k for the Spina Bifida research charity Sparks in the 2010 event. Trudie has since gone on to raise more than £4k for Shine, a more local charity supporting families and those suffering from Spina Bifida.
Trudie’s passion for running, cycling and sport has seen her working with children with special needs to improve their confidence and coordination and running aerobics classes exclusively for men.
Trudie was one of the founders of the Redway Runners in Milton Keynes and her achievements include helping the club to grow and improving the experience for runners in the popular MK Marathon which is now consistently ranked in the top 10 UK marathons.
In 2015 Trudie became the first woman in the UK to chair the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists at a regional level and has used her passion for the sport to oversee races and events in the region. She is widely respected and held in high esteem by everyone she has worked with.
Speaking at the event Sir Henry said: ‘Both these individuals have dedicated a huge part of their lives to helping others in a range of different ways. Their dedication, passion and enthusiasm for the work that they do must be applauded. It gives me the greatest pleasure to award them both with this formal recognition and to give personal thanks on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.‘
*Source of article : Buckinghamshire County Council.