New Year Honours: Carterton charity couple receive BEMs

image captionGraham and Pauline Evans established a branch of Save the Children in 1973

A husband and wife who have been volunteering for the same charity for 40 years have been given British Empire Medals in the New Year Honours list.

Graham and Pauline Evans helped establish the Carterton and Witney branch of Save the Children in 1973.

They said they felt "absolutely overwhelmed" with the "amazing" award.

Others honoured in Oxfordshire, include TV producer Peter Bennett-Jones who is made a CBE for services to the entertainment industry and to charity.

Mr Bennett-Jones was previously awarded the Bafta Special Award in 2011, and is known for his work as chairman of Comic Relief and Sport Relief.

Watlington Olympian Dominic Mahony is awarded an MBE for voluntary services to Modern Pentathlon.

The former modern pentathlete competed in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, winning a bronze medal at the first.

'Joy for both'

Mr Evans, who said since the Save The Children branch opened it had raised more than £1.2m, said he was "thrilled to bits" to receive his recognition but almost did not realise what it was.

"We got a letter through the post and I was amazed," he added.

"Thought it was a bill at first, but it was really a great surprise. The joy is that it's for both of us."

Mrs Evans said news of her honour had brought her to tears.

image captionDominic Mahony won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea

"I'm not very often moved to be emotional, not to tears, but I opened that envelope and I thought, 'why me?'," she added.

Others honoured include a knighthood for Oxford's Paul Collier for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.

Dr Noel Malcolm, senior research fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford, is also made a knight for services to scholarship, journalism and European History.

As is Professor Peter Ratcliffe from Kidlington, Nuffield Professor of clinical medicine, University of Oxford, for services to clinical medicine.

Oxford University Professor, Marian Dawkins, known for her work in animal behaviour, is appointed CBE for services to animal welfare.

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