A COMMUNITY hero says he feels extremely proud after being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Stan Davies, 75, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his services to the community in Braintree.

He is the vice-chairman of the Friends of the Flitch Way group, which works to help to maintain the environment, and has also been involved with the Lions Club of Braintree for several years.

Mr Davies said: “I was very surprised and very proud to get it really, you’re not told much about it other than that it’s for services to the local community.

“I am very proud to receive it - I had no idea at all that I was going to get this award.

“I feel there are lots of people who do a lot more work than I do and who have been doing it for far longer than I have.

“So even though it has my name on it, it is something which celebrates the work of all volunteers because volunteers keep this country going.”

The Friends of the Flitch Way group is made up of volunteers who carry out conservation work to the area around the disused railway line, which ran from Braintree to Bishop’s Stortford.

Group chairman Alan Trigg said: “Stan does an enormous amount of work not only for the Friends of the Flitch Way but also for the Braintree Lions Club and beyond.

“His enthusiasm and willingness to help others is amazing. His welfare work for the Lions is outstanding along with his fundraising. This is just a snippet of the work that he does. He is an inspiration to us all.

“The award is thoroughly well deserved and I am sure everyone will join me in congratulating Stan on his achievement.

“Congratulations and well done Stan - I bet your family are enormously proud of you as we all are.”

The Lions Club is made up of volunteers who carry out community work.

The group is holding the Braintree Real Ale Festival at the Bocking Arts Theatre from tomorrow (Thursday, June 13) until Saturday.

It is an event which has raised more than £150,000 for good causes since 2005.

Comedian and broadcaster Griff Rhys Jones, vice-president of the River Stour Trust, has also been recognised with an OBE for his contribution to the National Civic Society Movement, charity and entertainment.

Rhys Jones has a long-standing connection with Essex and has raised the profile of Colchester’s Roman Circus and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around the Dedham Vale.

Since 2007, he has been vice-president of the River Stour Trust and a staunch advocate for the restoration and conservation of the area.

He is most famous for his appearances on Not the Nine O’Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones in the Eighties.

Other big names in this year’s list include Oscar winner Olivia Colman, who will receive a CBE.

Chief scout and TV presenter Bear Grylls was awarded an OBE for services to young people and charity.