January 2013

Don Simms was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for his dedicatation to supporting disabled people over many years.

Don has been a Yeoman guide at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) for the last 14 years and before that spent 30 years as a police constable in the Met, based at Greenwich, where he was recognised for his work with disabled people. Don said: ‘I was given the award for helping disabled people, mostly with the Winged Fellowship charitable foundation, where I took disabled people on holidays as far away as China, Africa, America and New Zealand.’

'Before that I ran Greenwich Mencap’s Gateway Club in Eltham for Mental health service users, and was chairman of the London Federation of Gateway Clubs for 15 years. I also gave 125 pints of blood for over 20 years, until I had to stop at the age of 60.’

Don has also worked as a care attendant, giving personal care to people with severe disabilities. Don is one of the ORNC's most experienced guides and an access champion.

‘I was very surprised when I heard about my BEM, I wasn’t expecting it. I was nominated by my friends and I was absolutely delighted.’

Find out more

Download a map of the ORNC >