TWO Taunton residents are among the great and good chosen for the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Fay Thomas and Anthony Freeman have both been recognised on 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Mrs Thomas has been given an MBE for her services to children.

The dedicated 85-year-old has been working with the NSPCC for 55 years, helping to raise the profile of the charity - as well as nearly £350,000 in the last 20 years.

She has been chairman of the West Somerset branch, and her committee has raised more than £90,000.

Mrs Thomas said: “I was extremely happy to be recognised, not only for myself but for all of the people who support me.

“Over the years there have been so many highlights. After every event one always heaves a sigh of relief and thinks ‘that went well’.

“If I had to choose a moment, it would be receiving the Volunteer Leader of the Year award for the South West and Channel Islands.”

During her affiliation with the NSPCC she has organised a wide range of successful fundraising events that remain ever popular within the Taunton District.

In the last 20 years alone, the NSPCC estimates that she has inspired the local fundraising branch to raise over £350,000.

NSPCC chief executive, Peter Wanless said: “I am delighted to see Fay has been recognised in this way.

“The work she’s done across the South West has helped change the lives of hundreds of vulnerable children and young people.

“Volunteers like Fay are the lifeblood of the NSPCC and the generosity she has shown is truly inspirational.”

Community fundraising manager for Bristol, Bath and Somerset, Anna Keir said: “It is wonderful to see that Fay has been given this honour, it is so well deserved after all the work she has done for the NSPCC.

“Her calm and organised approach has enabled the Taunton District and West Somerset Branch to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years.

“She is extremely modest about her efforts, but we are so grateful to her for everything she has contributed to the NSPCC.”

Tony Freeman – a former commando – has been given a BEM.

Mr Freeman, who lives in Cotford St Luke, has been supporting the community in Bridgwater for the past 14 years.

Prior to joining the police, Tony, who is known as Tex, spent more than 12 years as a Royal Marine Commando.

He worked on the G8 summit – the annual meeting between leaders from eight of the most powerful countries in the world - when it was held in County Fermanagh in 2013. He was among a contingency of police officers who travelled to Northern Ireland to support the policing operation.

Tony also supported Avon and Somerset Police’s response to the disorder in Bristol in 2011 and received a Gold Commander’s commendation for his work during the Somerset Levels flooding emergency response in 2014.

Outside his police work he has been a dedicated supporter of local charities and projects in Taunton and surrounding area. He has raised £23,000 for various charities, including completing four London Marathons, as well as three 100 mile Olympic cycle rides.

He is currently approaching the two thirds mark in his bid to complete 22 press-ups each day over a 12-month period, which is posted on social media, to raise awareness of PTSD with money raised going to Combat Stress

He said: “I am overwhelmed and extremely humbled and honoured by this award, I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me in my projects or has donated to any of my charity events.”

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “I am thrilled for Tex. He is a wonderful example of a member of the policing family who does so much work to help the local community, where he works.

“He is real-life ‘action man’ having spent more than a decade in the tough and challenging role of a Royal Marine Commando. During his police career he has been involved in many demanding roles to protect the public including, the emergency response to the flooding on the Somerset Levels and supporting our response to the Bristol disorders.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens added: “This well-deserved British Empire Medal just shows how much Tex means to his community and is testament to his excellent local policing, fundraising and community work.

“I know from speaking to residents that Tony is making a difference every day because they tell me. To serve both his country and his community with such passion, commitment and enthusiasm is a real accomplishment.”