President of KYDS, Ray Banks, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Tiptree in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List. 

A BEM recognises ‘hands-on’ service to the local community. This could be a long-term charitable or voluntary activity, or innovative work of a relatively short duration (3 to 4 years) that has made a significant difference.

Ray has been actively involved in the Tiptree community for 30 years, after moving to Tiptree in 1987. He has been Church Warden and currently serves as Verger at St. Luke’s Church in Tiptree and until recently was involved in Heartwatch (Tiptree First Responders’ Group). Ray has also been involved in a whole host of other community events and activities, such as raising money for  Friends of Tiptree Heath.

Prior to its closure, Ray was an active member of Tiptree Amateur Dramatic Society (TADS), performing in many productions and serving as Chairman.

When KYDS was founded in 2009, Ray was asked to become President. Since then, Ray has championed youth theatre in the community, actively promoting the society and contributing to our activities.

Ray also introduced his own award to KYDS, ‘The President’s Highest Achiever Award’ which he awards to young people in the group twice a year to recognise members that have overcome challenges or demonstrated exceptional personal development. Ray continues to mentor, encourage, recognise and inspire young people as President.

We are absolutely delighted that Ray has been recognised with this honour. It is a huge achievement which deservedly recognises a huge contribution by Ray to the people of Tiptree.

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Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown (for East Anglian Daily Times)