A FRODSHAM man who set up an occupational therapy workshop for disabled people has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours List.
Geoff Prince, 63, founder of the Will to Work Workshop, based at the former Frodsham High School site, was singled out for his voluntary work in the community.
Geoff started Will to Work after he suffered encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain, which left him unable to continue his former trade as a builder.
He found the occupational therapy sessions he attended at Liverpool’s Walton Centre beneficial to his recovery so decided to set up a charity to continue this type of support for when people leave hospital care.
Geoff, who underwent a kidney transplant after four years on dialysis, said: “I’m over the moon that somebody put me forward and happy to receive the award. I’m also happy this will mean more publicity for the charity.
“We have to raise our own money but nobody takes any wages and everyone is a volunteer.”
Established 12 years ago, Will to Work specialises in making and repairing items such as benches, garden and household furniture, dolls houses and bird tables.
Members have also refurbished bar stools and tables for local pubs. Other activities include pottery, wood turning and refurbishing old bicycles.
The workshop currently has 40 members of both genders with a wide range of disabilities. Geoff says that as well as being helpful to those who participate, it also offers respite to carers.
If you feel the workshop could help you or to make a donation, contact Geoff on 01928 731477.
The British Empire Medal received by Mr Prince was brought out of abeyance by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.