Postie wins British Empire Medal for charity efforts

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A POSTMAN has received a first-class delivery.

Brian Milner has been given the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his service to a charity he founded 16 years ago.

He set up Gateway Wheelers disabled cycling group in 1996, with a friend and fellow postman David Patterson.

Brian, from Chester-le-Street, received his medal from the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sir Paul Nicholson, at a ceremony at Durham County Cricket Club.

“It was a great honour to meet Sir Paul and to receive the medal in my home town with good friends and family around,” said Brian.

“The British Empire Medal was revived this year to reward community and voluntary work, and so it is a double honour to be one of the first to get the medal for my work with Gateway Wheelers.”

Sadly, his co-founder David died in 2004, and because of this the group was even more determined to continue its work with riding for all abilities.

“When David passed away it was a big loss,” said Brian, “but we all rallied together, took on the challenge and have continued the charity’s success.”

The group, based at Durham Emirates International Cricket Ground, has a keen group of cyclists who enjoy getting out on their bikes most weekends.

Brian was quick to praise colleagues.

He said: “When I first received my letter, it took a few days for what I had been awarded to sink in.

“At the end of the day, I’m just one spoke in a big wheel at Gateway Wheelers.

“Without the support of my family and volunteers none of this would be possible – not forgetting Sarah our amazing development officer.”

Brian has another celebration to follow, at a glamorous tea party to be held at Buckingham Palace next year.

He said: “I have been told that, because I have been given my honour at home, I will be invited down to London to meet others and hopefully The Queen.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho