A "selfless" community champion is returning triumphant to Wantage with a British Citizen Award (BCA) to his name.

Ray Collins, 46, has raised £28,000 for charity in the last 12 months alone and has a plethora of good deeds spanning 10 years to his name.

On Thursday, January 28 he joined 32 other medallists at a grand ceremony in the Palace of Westminster, London, presented by English actor Larry Lamb.

Each received a Medal of Honour inscribed with the words 'For the Good of the Country'. Medallists can also use the initials BCA after their name

Alison Eddy, managing partner of BCA sponsors Irwin Mitchell, who presented Mr Collins with his award said: “There are so many people doing life-changing things in our communities and it is time they were recognised. 

"I’m so proud that Irwin Mitchell are supporting these awards and was personally very honoured to present Ray with his award.”

The BCAs are awarded twice annually and recognise 'everyday' people whose work to positively impact society might otherwise be overlooked. 

Succesful medallists are chosen from public nominations by a panel of independent assessors.

Over the past 10 years Mr Collins, who by day owns an electricals shop, has organised four Wantage Race for Life events to raise up to £30,000 for Cancer Research UK.

He has also Christmas and Easter lunches for less fortunate people in the community and organised the third Wantage Carnival, proceeds from which went to learning disability charity Yellow Submarine, The 14 Club social club and the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

Speaking after the ceremony, Mr Collins said: “I consider myself an ordinary person who likes to help people and get involved in fundraising events. Just someone who wants to make a difference.

“The satisfaction of helping others is enough of a reward for me. It’s really nice when someone pats you on the back and says well done. 

"I have turned down awards previously, as it’s never been about that for me. I get a lot of help and support from so many people, but it is nice to have been recognised."
Mr Collins was nominated for a BCA by friend, Nicky Rutter. Shesaid: “I have only known Ray for three years, but I have never met anybody so passionate and selfless. "The money Ray has raised is not to be sniffed at, £28,000 this year alone, but the support of this man in the community is massive.” 
Nominations are now being accepted for the July presentations and will be open until April 30, 2016. 
To request a nomination form email nominations@britishcitizenawards.co.uk or submit a form online at britishcitizenawards.co.uk/nominate-for-a-bca