Wales

New Year Honours: Bangor Elvis impersonator recognised

Wynne Roberts dressed as Elvis Image copyright Wynne Roberts
Image caption Wynne Roberts impersonates Elvis to help bring back cherished memories for people with dementia

An Elvis impersonator who has raised thousands of pounds for dementia charities has been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Wynne Roberts, from Bangor, receives a British Empire Medal for charitable services after raising more than £250,000.

Mr Roberts said he was excited "the King" would get to meet the Queen.

A former RAF serviceman has also been honoured for services to the community of Y Fron, near Caernarfon.

The money Mr Roberts has raised since 2013 has been used to set up activities for dementia patients like the Dementia Sensory Garden at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

The 58-year-old is said to have a "wonderful relationship" with dementia patients, built up by dancing and singing with them as Elvis, which helps brings back memories.

'Wonderful relationship'

"It's been such a wonderful 2019 - winning Best Gospel Elvis Tribute Act at the Porthcawl Festival, and now this," he said.

"I'm just so lucky to have found a way of raising money for good causes which, at the same time, brings myself - and hopefully others - so much pleasure."

David Lloyd-Evans, 76, who moved to the village of Y Fron in 2003 after 23 years in the Royal Air Force, also receives a British Empire Medal.

Image copyright David Lloyd-Evans
Image caption David Lloyd-Evans says it was a "great honour" to receive the recognition
Image copyright Canolfan y Fron
Image caption Y Fron Community Centre has community rooms, a cafe, an 18-bed hotel, a shop and a treatment room

The village now has a £1.1m centre which is owned and run by the community and employs five staff, thanks to Mr Lloyd-Evans.

Among his many successes, he led the revamp of the children's playground and he was instrumental in applying for grants to create a village green.

Mr Lloyd-Evans said: "This is a great honour, not just for me, but for the whole community which made a dream reality.

"In an era when small communities can't rely on funding from local and national government, we've been able to prove that people can take charge of their own villages and towns, and organise themselves to be successful," he said.

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