'Truly humbled' Banbury community hero recognised as outstanding individual at prestigious awards
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On Thursday June 29, Michael Hampton, commonly known locally as Mike on a Bike, was invited to the Palace of Westminster to receive the prestigious British Citizen Award for Services to the Community.
The awards ceremony takes place twice annually, and the recipient of the BCA Medal of Honour holds the right to use the letters BCA after their name in recognition of the nation’s gratitude.
Michael was chosen for the award because of his "Local Larder" initiative, through which he provides food to those in need in Banbury and the nearby villages up to six days per week.
Michael hopes to deliver 10,000 meals by the end of the year, having already distributed about 6,000 so far this year. Although Michael does accept donations, he frequently pays for most of the food himself.
Previous to this, Michael delivered prescriptions and essential food items to members of his community from a bicycle during the pandemic and set up a food collection point for people to donate food and other items, which were sent to those in need in Ukraine.
Michael said: "I feel incredibly honoured to be bestowed with this award; just over 500 people in the UK have received this honour, so it's very rare!
"The other 25 people I was honoured alongside all had amazing stories, and I am in awe to be recognised amongst them. I am truly humbled.
"I will continue helping the community in any way I can going forward and hope to expand Local Larder in the future. It is a service that I initially wanted for my mum but it didn’t exist, so I created it. I am glad to have made my mum and late dad proud!"
Michael was presented with the Medal of Honour by Lisa Collins, CEO of BCA Official Sponsors Objective HR, who said: ‘The British Citizen Award is an amazing platform to recognise the outstanding contributions that extraordinary people make within their community. Each and every medallist has an inspiring story, and their recognition is truly deserved’.
For more information on the Local Larder, visit https://www.facebook.com/locallardernorthoxon