Last week, our volunteer Employment Specialist, Martin Phillips received his MBE award at a ceremony held at Windsor Castle, presented to him by The Princess Royal.

We are so proud of Martin who became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Martin has been honoured for his services in the community in West Sussex. He volunteers for a number of local organisations as well as ourselves, including Healthwatch West Sussex, Impact Advocacy Service and the Safeguarding Adult Board. He was previously a Magistrate, Chair of Relate and a Non-Executive Director of Western Sussex Hospitals.

Martin attended the ceremony with his wife, Fiona. Having been delayed due to the pandemic, the ceremony was a small gathering of around 50 people receiving MBEs, OBEs and knighthoods.

Martin said:

“It was an unforgettable day from the time you drove into the castle grounds and were looked after so well by the very friendly staff. You waited in some fabulous rooms where you chatted to the other recipients. Finally you were called into the throne room on your own, where Princess Anne spoke to you about what you had been doing. She was very well informed. It all felt slightly unreal but an amazing time.”

Having volunteered for us at Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East) for almost 20 years, in that time he has helped huge numbers of clients to move forward with employment issues, including advising people on their employment rights and on discrimination in the workplace, and representing clients at tribunals. More recently, Martin has also been helping people understand the employment implications of Covid-19.

Jason Mather, Head of Client Services, said:

“Martin works tirelessly with clients facing employment problems across West Sussex, and he often deals with very complex, life-changing matters. He gives so much time to the cause and is often guilty of working on these cases while he is away on holiday. We’re very lucky to have him within our team and we’re delighted that he has received this much deserved reward.”

We are immensely grateful to Martin for the time, knowledge, skills and expertise he has given to us and to the people of West Sussex. He is truly an asset to our team. We congratulate him on this very well-deserved honour!