Former Berwick man receives MBE from the King
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Ken Dunn, who received the award for services to Lesotho and sub-Saharan Africa, attended a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.
“It was a wonderful day,” said Ken, who attended with his wife, Karen.
Ken, a former Berwick High School deputy head now living in South Yorkshire, has clearly not forgotten his roots either with a nod of gratitude to what was once the biggest company in the town.
“I decided to wear a pair of Pringle socks for the investiture,” he began. “Pringle of Scotland sponsored me back in 1980 for a British Schools Exploring Society expedition to central Iceland.
"That was worth £700 which was a lot of money back then and I’ve never forgotten it so I thought I’d show a bit of brand loyalty to them 42 years on.”
It set him on the road to a lifetime of expeditions which has taken him to the Himalayas, Andes, Yukon, Russia and Kilimanjaro.
His initial work in Africa was in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho where, with Rotary support, he helped establish a teaching farm to showcase conservation agriculture.
Ken, through his charity Africa’s Gift, also worked with Berwick Academy to make life-changing opportunities possible in the townships of Port Elizabeth.
And in Uganda, a small clearing named in memory of his mother, Marion, is being planted by the Batwa tribal group as a pocket forest pharmacy so they can grow shrubs and trees with medicinal properties that they can’t now access from the forest.
He is currently working on a project to produce millions of organic thermal cook bags that, when heated, prepare food.
Every day, 2.6 billion people cook their meals on an open fire, exposing themselves to the harmful effects of smoke on their overall health.
Thermal cook bags will be produced locally, with the use of locally sourced materials, local labour, and biodegradable materials.
"We are on a mission to make millions of bags across the global south in small enterprises using waste,” explained Ken.
"Please get in touch if you wish to join us - you could help heal the planet and offset your carbon emissions to live with a clear conscience while helping those most affected by climate change.”