Ponteland Special Constable Jon Gray is awarded Queen's birthday honour

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A long-serving Northumbria Police volunteer has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Special Constable Jon Gray has been awarded a British Empire Medal in recognition of his service to policing.

A former PC, he joined the force in 1978 and was stationed in Gateshead before making the move to rural Northumberland.

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He retired in June 2008 after 30 years’ service, but with much still to give, he started volunteering as a Special just two days later – and has served the community of Ponteland ever since.

Special Constable Jon Gray, who has been awarded a BEM.Special Constable Jon Gray, who has been awarded a BEM.
Special Constable Jon Gray, who has been awarded a BEM.

He also still finds time to volunteer in the 102nd Battalion, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Reserves Pipe Band, where he plays as a drummer. The band play regularly, raising money at charitable events.

After being notified of his British Empire Medal, Mr Gray admited he was “blown away” by the recognition.

The 64-year-old, who has often worked up to 20 hours every week in his role as Special, said: “Having been posted in Ponteland since 1990, I do this duty out of a sense of loyalty to the service and the area.

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“I’m pleased to continue to serve the community of Ponteland, which I know well.

“I still assist full-time officers and I’d like to think I help new recruits. This recognition is humbling and I was very surprised to get the call.

“I often think my career has been similar to the film Forrest Gump, I never had anything planned but I’ve been fortunate to work in a number of roles and have landed on my feet.

“I feel fortunate to have had the experiences through policing that I’ve had.”

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Fellow Special Constable Michael Scott, 61, who joined the force in 1983, was also awarded a BEM. He has served the communities of Tynedale and Redesdale for nearly four decades.

Chief Constable Winton Keenen QPM praised the pair for their “unwavering” commitment to serving the public.

He added: “I congratulate both Michael and Jon on being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“This thoroughly deserved honour is a true recognition of the unwavering commitment they have demonstrated, over many years, to their communities.