Dedicated Seaford volunteer receives British Empire Medal

Anthony Lees.
Anthony Lees.

A FORMER Seaford headmaster who has dedicated years of his life to supporting charities has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Anthony Lees is one of six people in Sussex to receive the honour.

The 74-year-old, who was a headmaster for 26 years at Bowden House School in Firle Road, was given the honour for services to the community in Seaford and East Sussex.

The Firle Road resident has been heavily involved with charitable organisations and was a volunteer, then a trustee of St Wilfrid’s Hospice before becoming chairman of the trustees, a role he held for nine years.

He is still a fundraiser for the charity and is also a member of the Rotary Club of Seaford where he received a Paul Harris Fellowship. It is usually awarded for service to the club over and above what would be considered usual or ‘expected’.

Mr Lees, who is also a president of Mercread Youth Club and an active member of St Leonard’s Church, said, “I think I have a fairly privileged background and a job where I worked with children with special needs.

“I was in a position to volunteer to support charitable things in a way that means I could give something back and make a difference if I could.

“I wanted to make a difference and give something back and I hope I have. I shall continue as long as I’m useful.”

Mr Lees, who was a magistrate for 25 years and is also a governor of a residential special school in West Sussex, is due to receive his medal at a later date.

He found out he had been bestowed the honour about a week ago.

He added, “I was very surprised and honoured.”