New Year Honours 2010
Ben Simpson was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours, announced in the London Gazette on 31st December 2009.
The award, was  'for services to the community in Oxford'.
Ben attended an Investiture at Windsor Castle on Friday 26th February 2010, at which he was presented with the Badge and Ribbon [the medal] by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Ben's charitable work has largely been around fund-raising for parishes and community projects in Oxford.  Among these ventures, the successful appeal for the purchase of a long lease for St Margaret's Institute Community Centre (SMI) has been a significant project; Ben has been a member of  the Management Committee for some 10 years, and Chair for about the last eight years.

Ben said:

I was very surprised to receive the letter seeking my agreement to accept this award. I did so, in the certainty that it marks and reflects the work and contributions of many people, the generosity of many individuals, of charities, institutions, church and diocese, councils, and colleges who have listened to us, advised us and supported us.  It was my good fortune to have been able to help in and be part of all this. 

At SMI it has also been a privilege to work with a team of wonderful people who built upon the aims and achievements of their Victorian predecessors, and on the endeavours of  more recent ones, to provide, enhance and secure for the long term future a fine building, well endowed, for the benefit of the community.  It is good to know that this will be in place and well resourced for many years to come.

On so many of these ventures, when well-intentioned people get together and start thinking about and working for their communities, it does not stop there. The communities themselves, in all their diversity, became more fully involved, appreciate what they have, not only in their buildings and how these could be, but within themselves, and they gain enormously from that.  It has been great to be part of this.

 For me, this award reflects all that, and acknowledges the efforts, generosity and spirit of all those who have been involved in these projects, recently and in the past.

photo: Charles Green Photography Ltd

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