Honours medal for firefighter who has raised more than Â£100,000 for charity
A FIREFIGHTER who has raised more than Â£100,000 for charity has said he isÂ '˜over the moon'Â after being named in the New Year's Honours.
Portchester firefighter Kevin Taylor '“Â known as Jasper '“Â will receive the Queen's Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service.
Kevin, 61,Â is among recipients in the area honoured for their dedication and making a difference in the community. His colleague Andy Bowers, deputy chief fire officer atÂ Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, will also receive the medal.
Kevin is well known for organising Christmas parties for pensioners each year '“Â with 360 attending at the Portsmouth Guildhall.
He started the parties off at Southsea fire station before moving them to South Parade Pier and then the Guildhall after they rose in popularity.
Kevin has helped raise huge sumsÂ for a variety of charities with open days, car washes, concerts, parties, quizzes, race nights, cycle rides, fitness challenges and supermarket bag packing.
He said: '˜To even be thought of in relation to this award is an honour.
'˜I am over the moon but it is not just for me it is for the people who help and support these events.
'˜I get so much support from my fellow firefighters.
'˜This award is a reflection of the work they do and that of the service as a whole.'
Kevin has previously been honoured by the service, Portsmouth City Council '“Â and was named as one of the happiest people in Britain by the Independent on Sunday.
Between them Andy and Kevin have attended thousands of incidents during their service.
Dad-of-three Andy, 55, from Gosport, is the national lead forÂ command and control at the National Fire Chiefs' CouncilÂ and helps shape policy and best practice.
Andy, who is deputy chief fire officer in Hampshire, said: '˜I have been proud and privileged to serve with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for more than 30 years. To receive an accolade like this is humbling.'
Chief fire officer Neil Odin said: '˜It is heartening to see these awards going to two such inspirational figures who extol the finest traditions of the service. They have both gone the extra mile every day to make life better for the people of Hampshire and their fellow firefighters.'