Community stalwarts are honoured with BEM medals

Two Northumberland residents have been presented with British Empire Medals for their dedicated community and voluntary service.

Friday, 24th November 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:29 am
The Duchess of Northumberland with Hugh Tulip and Zoe Frais at the BEM presentation. Picture by Brian Hunt

Zoe Frais, from Callaly, and Hugh Tulip, from Hipsburn, were awarded their honours at an investiture ceremony at Alnwick Castle on Tuesday.

They were presented with their prestigious accolades by the Duchess of Northumberland, in her capacity as the Queen’s Lord Lieutenant for the county. The British Empire Medal (BEM) is given to those engaging in voluntary work who have made a hands-on contribution to their local community.

Zoe has been active in social work and public service for more than 40 years in the Alnwick area.

A governor at Nunnykirk School for the last 10 years, she has played an integral part of the school community and took an instrumental role in helping the school successfully overcome challenging periods.

Zoe was a dedicated trustee and three-time chairman of the Gallery Youth Project.

She set up and ran adult-literacy classes for the deaf, as well as a youth club for children with learning difficulties.

Zoe worked for Barnardo’s Somervyl Family Centre, helping victims and perpetrators of abuse and teaching parenting skills to dysfunctional families.

She was a social worker spanning more than 25 years and was a well-regarded magistrate for more than a decade.

Hugh was awarded the BEM for his significant services to cricket and the community.

He has shown uncommon generosity to all aspects of village life and it is down to his drive, enthusiasm and commitment that Alnmouth Cricket Club has become such a thriving club – including a talented junior section – and an integral part of the community.

In 1989, he was voted Club President and still holds the post to this day. Hugh takes a keen interest in the matches and lays on post-match barbecues as a way of thanking the players for their endeavour.

The Duchess said: “To receive a BEM is an incredible achievement and it is a great pleasure to present the awards to these two worthy recipients.

“I’d like to congratulate them for their dedicated work and commitment over many years. They are a credit to their communities and to Northumberland and an inspiration to us all.”