A railway employee has been recognised with a royal honour for his life-saving charity work.
TransPennine Express (TPE) worker and Samaritans volunteer Richard Holliday, known as Rich, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to charity in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
Mr Holliday, 47, works as a learning and development manager for TPE in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and has also been recognised for championing suicide prevention on the network.
As a strong advocate for mental health awareness in the workplace, Mr Holliday is open about his own experiences and has introduced “Zoom elevenses” calls for his colleagues during the pandemic.
Mr Holliday said he felt “overwhelmed” and “thrilled” to have been recognised in the year’s first round of royal honours.
“Samaritans do such important work and I am proud to do what I can for them.
“Giving back to others is so important and I’m so happy that my contribution has been recognised in this way.”
TPE managing director Matthew Golton described Mr Holliday as someone with strong “passion and energy”.
Mr Golton said: “I am so proud to see Rich recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
“His passion and energy are infectious, and he uses this in the best possible way, by supporting and inspiring others.”
Mr Holliday is also passionate about creating opportunities for young people, including leading TPE’s annual apprenticeship programme which gives individuals the opportunity to enrol in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
Between 2013 and 2018, he volunteered with Kirklees Council to support young people aged between 10 and 17 who were being held in police custody.