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22 June 2012

Surprised to be honoured

Andy ReedA member of the Evangelical Alliance Council has spoken of his surprise at being awarded an OBE.

Andy Reed, the former Labour & Co-operative MP for Loughborough who now runs SajeImpact Ltd, was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List last weekend.

"As you can imagine I was slightly surprised to be offered such an award. It is not something I ever expected. My life has been full of pleasant surprises. I certainly accept this not for myself but in recognition of all the hard work that so many of my colleagues put into the bodies on which I am honoured to play such a small part."

Andy is featured in the upcoming sports and Olympic-themed edition of idea magazine where he has written about his new initiative, the Sports Think Tank.

He said: "I am really humbled by such an award because I know how many people across the country give of their time in their own communities. For it to happen in the Jubilee year and Olympics is an extra special reason to remember 2012.

"I have dedicated it to all those people I work with on the various Boards and councils on which I am delighted to serve – including of course those at the Evangelical Alliance. I am blessed in my life that my passions for building community and sport are also my daily life."

Andy is just one of a number of Christians who were awarded in the prestigious list.

Dave Smith Boaz TrustDave Smith, founder and director of Christian charity the Boaz Trust, which works with destitute asylum seekers in the Greater Manchester area, was awarded the British Empire Medal.

He said: "The award recognises the role of the Boaz Trust, making a significant impact on the asylum community within Manchester. It is a reflection not only of my own efforts but of the wider team of trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters. Standing with the most broken and vulnerable people in our society is not an easy task, and we are encouraged that this vital work has been recognised."

He added however that there was a "disconnect" with being recognised.

"At the same time, it seems to me that there is a disconnect somewhere. The BEM honours the work of the Boaz Trust with asylum seekers who have been refused asylum by the Home Office but not deported. These individuals are left with nothing - no housing, no support, and no clear end in sight to their plight. It seems strange for me to be acknowledged while the UK government continues to ignore those I represent.

"I am hopeful that as a result of this award we can raise even more awareness about the needs of destitute asylum seekers, and continue to see breakthrough and transformation across the city and beyond."