A FALKLANDS War veteran who started a charity that has helped thousands of cadets and reservists take part in expeditions across the globe, has been recognised by the Prime Minister for his work.
Retired Lt Col Philip Neame from Malmesbury, founder of the Ulysses Trust, has been given a Point of Light award by No 10.
His organisation, which was formed 22 years ago after he was part of an attempt to make the first winter ascent of Everest by a British team, has handed out a total of £2 million in grants to more than 20,000 men and women joining 1,800 expeditions.
“I feel very privileged to receive this award from the Prime Minister, but primarily on behalf of all those others who have supported the Ulysses Trust over 22 years, either as fellow volunteers or financially,” said the 68-year-old former 10 Para commander.
“We can only continue with their on-going help and we firmly believe that what we do provides two bangs per buck – it adds another dimension to two proven organisations of real value to our society, but also enables many young people to engage in opportunities for their personal development which might otherwise be beyond their financial reach.
“For some, these opportunities can be simply life-changing.”
Announcing the award David Cameron said: “Philip has been instrumental in supporting thousands of reservists and cadets to take up a challenge and be inspired.
“His dedication and enthusiasm to give something back to the remarkable individuals who serve our country has helped to secure £2 million of grants – an incredible amount - and I am delighted to name him the 86th Point of Light.”
North Wilts MP James Gray added: “The Ulysses Trust helps young people to achieve things they could not otherwise have imagined and it is right that Col Neame should be saluted for that achievement.”
In the years since it was formed, the trust, named after the ancient Greek warrior, has funded a range of expeditions from mountaineering in the Alps and trekking in the Carpathian mountains to skiing in Greenland, diving off Ascension Island and ice climbing in Norway.
Almost 80 expeditions have already been approved for backing this year.
The money comes in through grants, corporate sponsorship, legacies and events. Just last month Lt Col Neame ran a 10k race to raise more cash.
The Points of Light programme, first started in America George H. W. Bush, recognises outstanding volunteers who inspire others.