JOHN HUTCHISON was sitting at his breakfast table when he spied the Prime Minister’s stamp poking out of his pile of post.

The 78-year-old, who chairs Abingdon Mencap, said: “I was taken totally by surprise when I opened it. It’s the kind of thing you have to read twice. I feel very proud the Queen has bestowed this honour on me.”

Mr Hutchison, who lives on the Peachcroft estate in Abingdon with his wife Pauline and disabled son Darryl, was made an MBE for services to people with learning disabilities.

He has chaired the town’s Mencap group for 28 years, as well as chairing the support group at Abingdon Day Centre and running the Dolphins disabled swimming club at Radley College pool.

His 46-year-old son has severe learning disabilities and severe autism.

He said: “Darryl is a complex young man. He loves his swimming and he gets out and about. That’s how I first got involved, going with him to groups like Riding for the Disabled.”

Mr Hutchison retired 13 years ago after a career in leather tanning.

He said: “I felt I could give something to help to improve lives both socially with events, and by campaigning. I accept this award but I regard it as an award for all people in Oxfordshire doing tremendous work for people who are disabled.”

Abingdon Mencap campaigns and fundraises for local charities for people with learning disabilities.

Mr Hutchison said: “I’ve campaigned a lot over the years, including to get funds for people with disabilities to move into supported living placements.”

It’s not the first time he has been recognised for his work – in 2012 he was given a Diamond Champion award for the Queen’s Jubilee.