AN OSWESTRY man has thanked the 'phenomenal' support of his family and others after his inclusion in the 2021 New Year's Honours List.

Malcolm Farrar, who works as a Road Safety Education Officer across Shropshire, was recognised with The British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to education.

He has delivered presentations about road safety to students in schools across the county as part of his role, which he took on 16 years ago.

As well as educating students at 20 Shropshire secondary schools and colleges, Malcolm also visits Clive Barracks at Tern Hill, RAF Cosford and local Police Cadets to deliver talks and presentations.

He described his nomination for the honour as a surprise, and thanked all who gave letters of support to the nomination, which was made by his wife Lesley.

“I received an email from the Cabinet Office and I thought it might’ve been a bit iffy and wasn’t sure whether to open it," he said.

“Luckily I did and there was a PDF with a letter telling me I had been nominated and asking if I wanted to accept it, so I said yes.

“It honours the work I have done, but it also honours the people who have nominated me.

“I have a passion for what I do.

“It is an individual honour and I am very proud and very privileged for that.

“But it is made up from many people supporting the nomination, from pupils and teachers across the region.

“The support from my family, including my wife, has been phenomenal.”

Each year, Malcolm delivers around 250 presentations in schools across the county, speaking to more than 9,000 pupils.

His aim is to deliver the presentations in a fun and engaging way for young people in the region.

To do this, he puts together interactive presentations focusing on road hazards, peer pressure and speed limits, and makes each presentation specific to the area of each school he visits, by including clips of local roads.

Having worked in his role for Shropshire Council, and now on behalf of the council for WSP, Malcolm has built up a good relationship with schools over the years, and believes it is important to get the messages about road safety across to pupils.

He said: “The relationship has been built up over the years because initially when we started doing this, we didn’t go into secondary schools very often.

“The relationship now is a very positive one within the schools and with headteachers and teachers.

“Road safety education is important, but what is more important is the way in which it is put across to students and pupils.

“It’s about finding the correct way to deliver the message which is entertaining, engaging and gets the importance of the message across.”

Malcolm's wife, Lesley, put together the nomination and contacted some of the places Malcolm visits to ask for letters of support.

She said the response was overwhelming.

“I contacted teachers and headteachers to see if they would support the nomination I had made for Malcolm," she explained.

“The letters of support were amazing and spoke of how much of a gentleman he is when he comes into schools and engages with the students.

“Not just from teachers, but from pupils, the army, police and more – it was phenomenal.

“I put the nomination in but it wouldn’t have gone anywhere without the letters of support.”