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Daniel Robinson and Sons MD to receive British Citizen Award at Palace of Westminster for his charity fundraising





The managing director of Bishop's Stortford-based funeral director Daniel Robinson & Sons is to be recognised with the prestigious British Citizen Award (BCA) in recognition of his extraordinary charity endeavours.

Gary Neill, a funeral director for 46 years who joined the family-owned business in South Street as MD 36 years ago, is one of only 29 individuals who will be honoured at the ceremony at the Palace of Westminster on January 26.

Gary, who lives in Essex, will receive the BCA Medal of Honour for services to volunteering and charitable giving, having raised more than £1 million for St Clare Hospice. He will be invited to use the letters 'BCAv' after his name as a legacy of his achievements.

Daniel Robinson and Sons MD Gary Neill. Picture: Maria Michael, Detheo Photography
Daniel Robinson and Sons MD Gary Neill. Picture: Maria Michael, Detheo Photography

The BCA was established in 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals who make a positive impact on their communities and society. Dubbed ‘The People’s Honours’, due to the fact that anyone with an OBE, CBE or knighthood is ineligible to receive one, the BCA programme recognises true community heroes.

Through fundraising golf days and black-tie balls, Gary has raised over £1m for St Clare, at Hastingwood, near Harlow, which he has supported since its inception and of which he is a patron. He has also raised money for the Farleigh and Isabel hospices in Chelmsford and Welwyn Garden City.

He has supported clubs in the community, including football and bowls, and over the years, through charity golf days, has raised over £200,000 for various local projects.

Golf day beneficiaries with Daniel Robinson & Sons managing director Gary Neill. Picture: Terence Wright Photography (61836409)
Golf day beneficiaries with Daniel Robinson & Sons managing director Gary Neill. Picture: Terence Wright Photography (61836409)

More recently, funds from the golf days have been used to help six local children with cerebral palsy; these events alone have raised over £550,000. The money is used to pay for vital specialist physiotherapy, unavailable through the NHS, which significantly improves the children’s mobility as they grow and which will lead on to greater independence for them in the future.

The medal presentation will be hosted by TV presenter and BCA patron Nick Knowles, and attended by another BCA patron, Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins, and Baron Navnit Dholakia, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords.

Medals will be presented by senior representatives from official BCA partner One Stop, Places for People, Specsavers and Big Bus London, who all support the programme. Medallists then board an open-top bus for a lap of honour tour before attending a certificate presentation at the prestigious Church House.

The medal presentation is held twice a year, in January and July.

Gary Neill and funeral firm colleague Nigel Appleby presenting St Clare Hospice chief executive Sarah Thompson with a cheque for £5,000 in 2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic
Gary Neill and funeral firm colleague Nigel Appleby presenting St Clare Hospice chief executive Sarah Thompson with a cheque for £5,000 in 2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic
Gary Neill outside Daniel Robinson and Sons' South Street office. Picture: Vikki Lince
Gary Neill outside Daniel Robinson and Sons' South Street office. Picture: Vikki Lince
The British Citizen Award (61771370)
The British Citizen Award (61771370)

To nominate an outstanding individual from your community to be considered for the People’s Honours, visit www.britishcitizenawards.co.uk.



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