Heroes of the community receive British Empire Medal at Sheffield Town Hall

The recipients of the British Empire Medal, presented by the Lord Mayor and Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire

The recipients of the British Empire Medal, presented by the Lord Mayor and Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire

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Some of Sheffield's unsung heroes were given recognition this week as they received their British Empire Medal.

Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe, and Lord Mayor, Denise Fox, presented the medals in the reception room of the town hall.

The recipients of the British Empire Medal, Philip Howarth (top left) accepted on behalf of his mother Joan Howarth. Ron Wiltshire, Mathew Mowat, Lisa Towers, Joan Harding and LIz Versi.

The recipients of the British Empire Medal, Philip Howarth (top left) accepted on behalf of his mother Joan Howarth. Ron Wiltshire, Mathew Mowat, Lisa Towers, Joan Harding and LIz Versi.

Mathew Mowat's life was turned around through boxing and he now coaches and devotes many hours of his time and skills to raising funds for charity. Mathew, from Gleadless, was awarded his medal for services to boxing.

He remains a dedicated volunteer at Sheffield Boxing Centre, offering young people the opportunity to experience belonging to a community that teaches discipline and respect.

Ron Wiltshire, from Wincobank was a rail ticket office worker. After surviving a heart attack in 2005 he decided he wanted to give something back to charity and has now raised over 100,000 for the poppy appeal. Ron, aged 64, used to work for East Midlands Trains at Chesterfield station. He took two weeks off from his job every October to travel up and down the country selling poppies to passengers.

Two Home Office workers from Sheffield, Elizabeth Versi, 40, from Walkley and Lisa Towers, aged 47, from Beauchieif, were awarded the British Empire Medal for services to mental health awareness after co-founding outreach programme Break the Stigma.

The recipients of the British Empire Medal

The recipients of the British Empire Medal

Philip Howarth was accepting the medal on his mother Joan's behalf. Mrs Howarth, aged 82, is a costume maker from Crookes. She was acknowledged for her voluntary services to costuming within amateur dramatics.

Joan Harding was given her medal for services to the Community. Mrs Harding, aged 69, from Beighton runs the Limes Community Centre in the town.

She said “I am just an ordinary person, who lives in a semi, who has been doing something that I enjoy. But it is nice that ordinary people do get recognised.”

The British Empire Medal was reinstated as a civil award in 2012 after the Queen's diamond jubilee. From 1992 to 2011 the award was previously only given to members of the commonwealth outside of the United Kingdom.

The recipients of the British Empire Medal

The recipients of the British Empire Medal

Ron Wiltshire with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Ron Wiltshire with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Philip Howarth with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Philip Howarth with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Elizabeth Versi with her medal

Elizabeth Versi with her medal

Lisa Towers with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Lisa Towers with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Mathew Mowat with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Mathew Mowat with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Joan Harding with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor

Joan Harding with Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor