Charity stalwart receives British Empire Medal

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A charity stalwart from Leighton Buzzard has received a royal nod of approval in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Bill Duperouzel, 71, has made it his mission to steer forward charities WorkAid and Headway for years.

And the retired accountant has been recognised with a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Honours List.

Bill said: “I’m very humbled by this honour, which came completely out of the blue. It’s a big surprise.

“I’m quite emotional about it and I’m very grateful that someone nominated me, which led to this.”

Born in Subiaco, Western Australia, Bill moved to Britain in the early 1970s and has lived in Leighton Buzzard with wife Janet since 1975. They have two daughters.

Bill held senior finance roles for over 25 years at Scicon Computer Services and later worked at Ingram Micro Systems.

His wife was one of the founders of brain injury charity Headway 30 years ago, and Bill credits her with inspiring him to take up charitable causes after his retirement.

Together they have organised an annual charity bike ride for Headway that lasted 15 years.

But one of the projects that has been close to his heart is Workaid – a charity based in Amersham that supplies carpentry tools and sewing machine to African countries.

Bill joined the charity as an administrator in 2006 and retired as CEO five years later. He still carries out public speaking on its behalf.

He added: “It’s remarkable to think of what we throw away in the UK and how it can be so important to people in Africa who have nothing. It inspires you to do more.”

Bill volunteered for 40 days at the 2012 Olympic Paralympic Games.

He has also been a trustee at Leighton Buzzard Health, Healing & Counselling for seven years.

> Euan Stewart OBE from Leighton Buzzard, Head of Intelligence for HM Revenue and Customs, received a CBE for Services to Protecting Tax Revenue.