FOLLOWING nearly 14 years of outstanding service to Portsmouth’s disadvantaged community, a Southsea man is to be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen.
Trevor Sapey, 62, of Lindley Avenue, Southsea, will be made an MBE for his services to the Mary Rose Trust and disabled and disadvantaged people in Portsmouth and the South East.
As the community engagement officer for the trust, Mr Sapey has been closely involved with the Mary Rose Museum and often works a six or seven-day week as standard.
His role has revolved around promoting the museum and mobilising its historical collection – enabling special needs groups to engage with its many artefacts.
Speaking to The News, Mr Sapey told of how he felt after appearing on the Queen’s birthday honours list.
He said: ‘I don’t like to blow my own trumpet so it’s hard to put the feeling into words. It’s an absolute honour to receive the award.’
In order to provide Hampshire residents with access to what the Mary Rose Museum has to offer, Trevor makes regular trips into the local community.
Stroke groups, Mencap, Alzheimer’s Society, hospices, Age UK and local authority day centres all receive visits from the trust.
Mr Sapey continued: ‘I believe I’ve been given a privilege to go out and speak to people who wouldn’t normally visit the museum.
‘It’s quite emotional, these people get very excited.
‘The visits are fun, they encourage wellbeing and they help people with their memory and communication.
‘I quite often bring groups to the museum and they realise they can engage with the collection at their own level, with touch and audio for example.
‘More importantly, a lot of these people then go on to come and volunteer with us.’
Trevor also recognises the importance of the Mary Rose Museum as a landmark in the city of Portsmouth.
‘It’s very important. It encourages people to come and visit.
‘It’s such a special collection, but it’s what it’s been doing for the people I meet and bring in is amazing.
‘It’s very rewarding and we’re so lucky that the trust as a whole allows all this to work.’
Throughout his career Mr Sapey has also assumed a number of other responsibilities, fulfilling speaking arrangements across the country and volunteering as a one-to-one assistant for the Stroke Association at Southampton.
He has also been a governor and vice-chair at Mary Rose Academy – a Portsmouth special school for pupils aged two to 19 – since it opened in 2007.