Doddington man who was the driving force behind Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue awarded the MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Paul Arnill. MBE.

Paul Arnill. MBE. - Credit: Archant

The driving force behind Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List today.

Launch of the summer 2009 Coasthopper bus. Pictured: on board one of the Coasthopper buses is Norfol

Launch of the summer 2009 Coasthopper bus. Pictured: on board one of the Coasthopper buses is Norfolk Green MD Ben Colson.PHOTO: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

And the former managing director of Norfolk Green bus services also received the MBE.

Paul Anthony Arnill, of Doddington, received his honour for his services to both search and rescue and and to the community in Tilney, near King’s Lynn.

He said: “In 2004, I was approached by Cambridgeshire constabulary with the idea of setting up a search and rescue team in the county.

“After two years of meetings, endless administration and single handedly training suitable applicants, the team went live in 2006.


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“During the following eight years I developed the team into the most successful search team in the country.”

Mr Arnill has been an innovator in the field of search and rescue and became a founding member of Essex Search and Rescue in 2001. In the four years he was with Essex Search and Rescue, he was responsible for the planning and execution of over 95 searches for vulnerable missing persons. When he moved to the Cambridgeshire in 2005, he was contacted by Cambridgeshire Constabulary who were struggling to meet the requirements of vulnerable missing person searches.

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This saw the creation in 2006 of a new countywide Lowland Search and Rescue Team in which he played a major role through coordinating with police forces, mountain rescue teams and The Association of Lowland Search and Rescue.

He has also given his time to support the charity The Bridge for Heroes, which provides a safe haven for ex-service men and women who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He also spent seven years on Tilney Parish Council, where he was praised for helping to sort serious financial issues the council was facing

Ben Colson, of Wolferton, near King’s Lynn, is now retired in 2013 after 18 years of running the bus operator Norfolk Green, and has received the award for his services to the economy and community in Norfolk.

He said: “This news has taken a little while to sink in; initially the news didn’t seem real. Then, after a little while, I started to think about why we may have received the award.

“We considered ourselves part of the county’s infrastructure; like you would roads and hospitals. Much of our profit was ploughed back into the company, we increased the travel opportunities around the area, and we grew.

“The number of people we employed increased from three when we first started to 160. Around 100 of those were completely new jobs.”

Mr Colson added: “And I say ‘we’ because I consider this very much a team award and a testament to all the hard work that everyone put into the company over the years.”

The former mayor of Cambridge, Maurice Garner, was also made an MBE for his services to Cambridgeshire. Mr Garner is now the vice-chairman of the board of trustees at Age UK in Cambridgeshire.

The Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Archibald Duberly, CBE, was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

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