Community champion is honoured as he received British Empire Medal

Billy Hill receives his British Empire Medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Durham, Sue Snowdon.
Billy Hill receives his British Empire Medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Durham, Sue Snowdon.
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A community champion has had his service recognised after being granted a British Empire Medal (BEM).

Billy Hill, 70, was nominated for the award because of his service to the community of Horden over the years.

Over the years, he has been involved in a number of projects, including Horden in Bloom, and has done lots of community work, as well as being a parish councillor.

He helped one army veteran who had served in Afghanistan to get accommodation in a bungalow, and has dedicated many years of his life to serving his community.

After suffering a stroke in February, Billy now lives at Jack Dormand Care Home, in, Fourth Street.

He was joined there by daughter Paula Hill and son Steven, as well as many other family members and friends, including sister Mary Cape and her husband Richard, who travelled from Perth, Australia, to see him presented with the medal.

The presentation was carried out by the Lord Lieutenant of Durham, Sue Snowdon, at the nursing home, with up to 100 people in attendance.

Billy’s daughter Paula said: “My dad is an ordinary man who dedicated years of his life to helping other ordinary people within the community of Horden.

“He has been involved in so many things over the years to help people. Things like that just came to him easily.

“It was fantastic to see that recognised, and we all had a great day. We’d like to say a big thank you to the home and everyone who helped out, all the way down to his friends, some of whom made a cake for the occasion and others who sang for him.

“My dad was very, very emotional, but enjoyed it thoroughly.”