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2019 New Year's honours list awards BEM to Great Barton man

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Great Barton's Bryan Garnham has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year's honours list after devoting much of his life to raising money for charity.

Bryan, 84, has lived in the area since 1978, and has spent 55 years fund-raising, while working extensively to support Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The first time he encountered a blind man he stopped at a local café to talk with him and when the conversation turned to guide dogs, he gave the man the money to buy one.

Bryan Garnham
Bryan Garnham

Bryan said: "When I realised the man was blind it really hit me hard that there were people out there living their entire life blind."

From there, his charitable work has continued to grow and ranges from playing golf with square golf balls for charity on board the HMS Albion while in the navy, to a more recent venture of collecting donated bicycles, having them serviced and then selling them on with the proceeds going to charity.

Having started his own life in a children's home, only to be taken in by a loving family, doing good deeds for other people became an important part of Bryan's life.

These deeds did not go unnoticed, as several people, including his wife nominated him for an award.

After another two years had passed, he finally received a phone call to say that his work had been recognised with a BEM, which will be awarded in the New Year.

Other Suffolk residents to have been recognised in the honours list are as follows:

Knights Bachelor - Humphrey Burton, CBE. For services to Classical Music to the Arts and to Media.

OBE - Yvonne Mason. Founder and Chair of Trustees The Mason Trust. For services to Young People in Norfolk and Suffolk.

MBE - Bridget Fiona McIntyre. Founder Dream On and the Blossom Charity. For services to Women.

MBE - Professor Gerrard Rayman. Consultant Physician East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Diabetes Care.

MBE - Catherine Louise Ryan. Community Matron Sole Bay Health Centre and Founder, Sole Bay Care Fund. For services to Nursing and to Fundraising in Suffolk.

BEM - John Noel Last. Watch Commander Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. For services to the Fire and Rescue Service and the community in Suffolk.

BEM - William Alexander Parker. For services to Coastal Management.

BEM - Juliet Wiles. Volunteer Cricketeer ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. For services to Cricket.

QPM - Gareth Ian Wilson. Formerly chief Constable Suffolk Constabulary.