The British Empire Medal (BEM) is awarded for a ‘hands-on’ service to the local community which could be a long-term charitable or voluntary activity, or work of a relatively short duration that has made a significant difference.
Dan Kinsey teaches history in the faculty of arts, business and social sciences at the University of Wolverhampton.
After graduating, he studied on the university’s pioneering Graduate Teaching Assistant Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and has been teaching for four years.
He was nominated for the award for services to the community in Wombourne during the pandemic in his role as a parish and district councillor and chairman of the parish council.
Dan, who originally comes from Wolverhampton but now lives in Wombourne, said: “It was a colossal surprise and I had no idea until the letter landed on the mat and it was quite mind-blowing especially as it was for services to my community.
“When the pandemic hit, I worked to set up a community group and brought together different voluntary and community bodies to assist residents across a wide variety of areas, helping people to access services during the first few months of the pandemic.
“Sixteen people were in the core team and we’ve all become the best of friends. People have met new people across different age ranges and it’s been a real positive.
“I am a passionate volunteer, and despite being a local politician, I don’t really like to be at the forefront of things. It’s a serious honour and really means something to me.”
Dan has always had an interest and passion for history and is interested in the British Empire as an historical subject.
He will be presented with his British Empire Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire at Staffordshire County Hall at a ceremony to be confirmed in the near future.