23 July 2024

Veterans’ champion receives award from Prime Minister

The president of Withernsea’s Royal British Legion has been given a Point of Light award by the Prime Minister.

After celebrating Darren’s work to support veterans by making him one of his Community Champions in October, Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart felt it was right for his achievements to be recognised by PM Rishi Sunak, so nominated him for the award.

Darren is also the president of the Withernsea Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, which gives 40 veterans a safe place to socialise, receive advice and feel part of the community.

The town was without a Royal British Legion branch for a number of years, but this has now changed thanks to Darren’s tireless work.

Every year Darren also leads a group of volunteers to create a poppy cascade at Withernsea Pier as a poignant backdrop to the town’s Remembrance Sunday service.

And as a volunteer for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Darren travels across Europe in his own time to visit soldiers’ graves and researches their life stories so that people in Yorkshire know of the work their parents and grandparents did for their country.

The Points of Light awards were first established by US president George H W Bush in 1990 to recognise the outstanding voluntary work that individuals are doing every day in our communities.

The UK Government launched its own version of this project in April 2014 and Darren is the 2,268th recipient of this award.

Darren said: “I was surprised to be nominated and honoured to receive the award given recent Point of Light winners.

“It is a privilege to work with and for veterans. I started the local Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club and restarted the Royal British Legion with them in mind. There was very little opportunity for veterans to socialise in the area and it is great to see our veterans prospering.

“I also organise Remembrance events for the town and volunteer for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission conducting tours of military graves remembering those that gave their lives.”

Mr Stuart said: “We hear bad news on a daily basis, but wonderful people are doing amazing things in our community every day. Darren is one of those people.

“That’s why I wanted to ensure he was recognised by the Prime Minister for his tireless work in Withernsea and beyond to support our veterans and bring the community together on Remembrance Sunday.

“Darren looks after our heroes and this makes him a hero to many, including me.”