A trustee of local children’s charity Jessie May, whose nurses care for terminally ill children across Bath and North East Somerset, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
Roger Harper, 63, is a trustee of Jessie May, whose nurses provide at-home care to terminally ill children and their families.
He joined the Board of Trustees as Chair in February 2013 and stepped down in January 2018, remaining an extremely active trustee of the children’s charity.
He has been awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his voluntary and charitable work.
Roger, who lives in Bristol with his wife Olga, said: “I am absolutely astounded to have been awarded an MBE. The news came through a very formal looking letter through the letter box – I didn’t for one second expect it to be from the Cabinet Office giving me the amazing news! I had to keep re-reading it to take it all in as I couldn’t quite believe it.”
Roger, who has worked closely with people with disabilities over the years, has been recognised for his commitment to Jessie May, and also for helping various local organisations such as the Avon Swifts Disabled Sports Team.
He added: “It’s been an honour to support Jessie May over the past six years. Everyday I proudly wear my purple Jessie May wristband and badge.
“It is amazing how many people ask me about those two items! The work the nurses do is just fantastic – I have been able to meet some of the Jessie May families over the years and come to understand how vital the nurses’ work is.
“I’m a keen fundraiser for the charity too. I’ve taken on two half marathons for Jessie May and the 10k in Bristol in 2018. I’ve also recently hosted guided walking tours of Central Bristol to raise money for the charity.
“These were incredibly fun ways to raise money for such a worthy cause and the walks were a chance to find out what truths lie within the depths of our city!
“Now I’m excitedly waiting to see when and where I will be awarded the MBE medal. I can bring three people to the ceremony, so me, my wife Olga, son Edward and daughter Louisa Ross will have a lovely family day in London I’m sure.”
Roger is the second person in his family to receive his MBE – his aunt Joyce, aged 98, received an MBE in 2011 for her services to dance, presented to her by Princess Anne.
Chris Roys, CEO of Jessie May, said: “Everyone here at Jessie May is delighted with this news. We are very proud of Roger and all his achievements, including his work and passion for Jessie May, and his other charitable activities.
“It’s wonderful to see he has been honoured in this way. We look forward to hearing all about the ceremony when it takes place and hope his family have a fantastic day celebrating with him!”
The New Year Honours List, which is published at the end of each year, recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.
The decision about who gets an MBE is made by a special committee. The committee’s decisions go to the prime minister and then, finally, to the Queen to check it. This year, 1,148 people are on the main New Year Honours List.