Swindon fire officer Mark Evans 'surprised' by MBE honour

Mark Evans and members of Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group Image copyright Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Mark Evans said it was a "massive surprise" to receive the honour for working with disadvantaged young people and the community

A fire officer from Swindon who works with disadvantaged young people has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Mark Evans described it as a "massive surprise" to receive the honour.

Mr Evans is lead instructor for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service's Salamander scheme in Swindon which helps young people learn life skills.

The firefighter has been watch manager at Stratton fire station since 2009.

He said: "I hope that by accepting this honour, I can do so on behalf of every single person who has either helped to run the courses or has benefited from attending."

He added: "Over each course that we run, we see the young people grow as they learn new skills and push their own boundaries.

"That is so rewarding for every instructor, as is seeing the faces of the families and friends when we do the pass-out parade on the last day."

Mr Evans has been involved with Salamander since its inception in 2007, and has coordinated more than 50 courses.

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