Queen’s award for Hucknall volunteer

Greg Cowley has been awarded the BEM for community service
Greg Cowley has been awarded the BEM for community service

A Hucknall man’s community commitment across the Dispatch district has been recognised in the Queen’s Honours List released this week.

Greg Cowley, of Nabbs Lane, was named as a worthy recipient of a BEM (British Empire Medal) for ‘services to the community’.

Greg, 45, who is the founder member of Bestwood Village Boys Brigade and Girls Association, runs its equivalent in Top Valley and is also a trustee of the Bulwell, Bestwood and Basford Food Bank.

“It’s an amazing honour and very humbling,” said Greg who has two children who attend National Academy. “When the letter came and it was addressed to John Gregory Cowley I thought it must be serious as I’m known as Greg.

“I was on my way out at the time to do a bag pack at Tesco with our group to raise money for camp so I didn’t know what to make of it. But I couldn’t say anything for five weeks until the official announcement.”

But Greg did ring his wife, who had already left the house to volunteer with the food bank, to share his news.

“She was so surprised she was speechless,” added Greg who in his day job is a Legal Aid auditor. “And my mum and dad are very proud and found it really difficult to keep it a secret.”

Greg will now be presented with his BEM at a local award ceremony and will visit Buckingham Palace next year for a garden party with other honoured guests.

“It’s all been a real shock and it’s difficult to express my feelings about it but I’m really honoured that someone has taken the time to nominate me and the committee to consider me worthy of the recognition of this award.”