A businessman from Heage has received a national award for services to volunteering and charitable giving over more than 20 years.
Nigel Davidson, the director of Specsavers in Sutton-in-Ashfield was presented with a British Citizen Award (BCA)in a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday, January 25.
He said: “I am surprised and delighted to receive this honour and I would like to thank the BCAs.
“In addition I would like to thank my work team, colleagues, family and friends for all their help and support.”
Nigel, 55, has been instrumental in raising thousands of pounds over the years for a myriad of charitable causes.
Most significantly, he started the charity Ashfield Eyecare Services’ in 2014 with a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, giving free eye tests and glasses to homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers living in the area.
He has so far joined two expeditions to Ghana with Ashanti Development to deliver eyecare to a region of high-poverty along with members of his staff, which he describes as ‘an amazing and humbling’ experience’.
During the most recent trip, the group carried out more than 1,300 eye tests in six days and handed out over 4,500 pairs of donated glasses.
Among others to benefit from his efforts are the British Heart Foundation, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the John Eastwood Hospice, Hearing Dogs, road safety charity Brake, the Air Ambulance and Children In Need.
He has also helped relaunch a local food bank, completed the Three Peaks Challenge for Sightsavers International, and taken on sponsored cycling challenges for the likes of Action Medical Research and Marie Curie.
Beyond this, Nigel and his team have developed strong relationships with the Sutton Community Academy school over the past eight years, where he is a former governor and board member.
The relationship began with Specsavers accepting work placement students and since then a number of initiatives have been taken up, including a collaborative project where Nigel’s business sponsors the annual Young Achiever in the Community awards.
For all his achievements, awards judges said that what makes Nigel’s contribution exceptional is his attitude: “He is a firm believer of the ‘more you put into a community, the more you get back’.
“Nigel is constantly encouraging others to follow suit, which in turn has helped to have a bigger impact on the community.”
Award sponsor Nathan Rous said: “It was an absolute pleasure to hear Nigel’s inspirational story. The work he does truly changes lives for the better and he thoroughly deserves this recognition.”
For more information about the awards, visit www.britishcitizenawards.co.uk.