A Jarrow man has told of his delight after being awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List.
Thomas Lynch, who works as a Border Force officer, received the honour for services to border security and to charity.
Now based in Immingham, Lincolnshire, Mr Lynch was born and brought up in South Tyneside, having been born in Jarrow in 1952.
He lived in Jarrow until 1975, and was a pupil at both St Bede’s Boys School, in Jarrow, and later St Joseph’s Grammar School, in Hebburn.
Mr Lynch has worked in customs abroad in countries including Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been recognised with the MBE in part due to that, and also for his tireless work as a regional charity organiser.
He has paid tribute to his colleagues after receiving the award, and says it is a ‘pleasure and a privilege’ to work with them.
He said: “I appreciate receiving this honour in recognition of my work as regional charity organiser, and my contribution to UK border security.
“I regard it as an award for all of those who work in Border Force, doing a difficult job under often arduous conditions.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have them as colleagues and friends.
“I would also like to mark my appreciation of my family for their support and understanding during my service abroad, including Iraq and Afghanistan, not forgetting the many friendships forged with overseas customs colleagues.”