The chairman of the Selsey Community Forum said his volunteering experience had been ‘enjoyable, satisfying and fun’ as he was presented with a British Empire Medal on Monday.
Mike Nicholls from Selsey has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to the community.
He was presented with the award by Susan Pyper, the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, at a ceremony in Selsey’s East Beach Church, in front of more than 100 community volunteers, family and friends.
Mr Nicholls, a grandfather of eight, has been involved in numerous groups and activities in Selsey since moving to the town with his wife ten years ago, including the Selsey Community Forum and charities Sports Dream and Youth Dream.
The former Christian minister said he was most proud of the creation of the Selsey Care Shop and the Bridge support centre, which offers mental health support to young people.
In his acceptance speech at the ceremony, Mr Nicholls said the award was not just in recognition of him, but of a community ‘rich in volunteering history’ which boasted ‘countless people who strive to make a difference through community development’.
He said he had benefitted ‘so much’ over the last ten years from the ‘experience, skills, wisdom and dedication’ shown by other teams, organisations and charities.
“The journey has been enjoyable, satisfying and fun,” he said. “You have made me a better person. I am grateful.”
He thanked his family for their ‘interest and support’, his wife Di for her love, care, kindness and commitment, and God for his ‘love and strength’.
“There is more to do and this medal will be a constant encouragement,” he said. “The best is yet to be.”