A Llanelli pensioner is honoured with British Empire Medal

17 days ago

A retired civil servant from Llwynhendy has been award the British Empire Medal.

William Henry Gerwyn Jenkins was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the Samaritans in Swansea.

The 77-year-old has been involved with the Samaritans for more than 40 years and has devoted his free time to listening and providing support to people who have found themselves in difficult and desperate situations.

He has held many positions during his time at the Swansea Branch, from committee member to deputy director. He has dedicated more than 15,000 hours of his free time to promoting the Samaritans at events such as Eisteddfods and The Royal Welsh Show.  His tireless drive and enthusiasm, sound advice and guidance have been invaluable to the organisation. The pensioner said: “I was thrilled to get the award, I never expected it and it took me by surprise to get the letter through the post.

Mr Jenkins supported prisoners in Swansea Prison as part of Samaritans’ Prison Listener Scheme for 22 years. He said: “So many young people don’t have a chance in life. They were shunted from one children’s home and foster home to another, and were totally unsettled.”

Despite recent health problems he has continued to volunteer for his normal weekly shift which involves a two-hour round trip from his home.  He has also been actively in his local church, MIND, outreach programmes in schools and the Salvation Army.

HM Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Miss Sara Edwards presented the award at a ceremony in Parc Myrddin, Carmarthen. She said: “The dedication, determination, passion are not strong enough words to describe Mr Jenkins - he gives so much of his time to help others.”

The British Empire Medal is given for meritorious service worthy of recognition by the Crown.