Queen honours railway signaller with MBE for homelessness charity work: Chris Conway founder of United Blackpool

Saturday 10 Oct 2020

Queen honours railway signaller with MBE for homelessness charity work

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: North West

A Network Rail signaller has been made an MBE for his work helping the homeless in Blackpool.

Chris Conway, a relief signaller at Bamber Bridge, near Preston, has helped people living on the streets in his hometown for many years.

The 27-year-old started his Thursday night ‘community watch’ street walks in 2018, when up to 40 volunteers decked out in Chris’ ‘United Blackpool' hoodies gave support to rough sleepers.

Earlier this year the soup kitchen he ran three nights a week with organisation Amazing Graze couldn’t operate because of Covid social distancing.

So, Chris organised for 1,200 hot meals to be delivered directly to those who needed them every week.

Chris said: “From a very young age I’ve always wanted to help those with less than I had. I have never done any of this for any recognition, and I am truly humbled and amazed that now the Queen knows about United Blackpool! It’s not just me doing the great work, so it’s only right to accept this MBE on behalf of all the people who volunteer.”

Chris Conway’s latest honour comes after a string of other awards for his selfless charity work.

In 2019 he was recognised as one of Blackpool’s Local Heroes by the Blackpool Gazette and won a 2019 Railstaff Award.

He also volunteered within Network Rail to become a charity ambassador for the North West & Central region, giving him more opportunities to help the homeless, both in his home town and across the North West.

Tim Shoveller, North West & Central region’s managing director, said: “The work Chris has done to combat homelessness has inspired us all.

“I’m really pleased Chris has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. I’m proud to have him on the North West and Central team and I’m looking forward to continuing to support his important work in the future.”

Chris has organised sponsored sleepouts to raise money and awareness of homelessness and is determined to carry on with his work, to help as many people as possible find a permanent home to live in.


Notes to Editors

An MBE is an order of the British Empire award. It is the third highest ranking Order of the British Empire award, behind CBE which is first and then OBE.

It stands for Member of the Order of the British Empire (as opposed to Commander of Officer). It is also awarded to someone for making a positive impact in their line of work or in their community.

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