The managing director of a Great Dunmow funeral home has received a British Citizen Award (BCA) for raising more than £1 million for charity.

Gary Neill, managing director of Daniel Robinson & Sons, was given the BCA for services to volunteering and charitable giving.

He was one of 29 people to receive a BCA at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday, January 26.

His Medal of Honour was presented by Katie Proctor, head of supported housing from founding sponsors, Places for People, and TV presenter and patron of the BCA Nick Knowles, who hosted the event.

Gary has been a funeral director for 46 years, and looked after thousands of bereaved families. He joined family-owner funeral directors Daniel Robinson & Sons as managing director 36 years ago.


Through charity golf days and fundraising black-tie balls, Gary has raised more than £1 million for St Clare Hospice in Harlow, which he has supported since its inception and of which he is a patron. He has also raised money for Farleigh Hospice and Isabel Hospice.

Dunmow Broadcast: Gary Neill was presented with the British Citizen Award for his support of local charitiesGary Neill was presented with the British Citizen Award for his support of local charities (Image: Daniel Robinson & Sons)

Over the years Gary has also supported clubs in the community, including bowls and football, and through charity golf days has raised more than £200,000 for a variety of local projects.

More recently, funds from the golf days have been used to help six local children with cerebral palsy. The money is used to pay for the children's vital specialist physiotherapy, unavailable through the NHS, which significantly improves their mobility as they grow and leads to greater independence in the future.

Following the formal presentation of the BCAs, the award winners and their families boarded an open-top bus for the lap of honour tour, courtesy of Big Bus London.

After taking in some iconic sights of the capital, they disembarked at Church House in Westminister for a Certificate of Honour presentation. 

The certificates were presented by representatives from One Stop, Specsavers, Places for People and P&G, and completed the official BCA proceedings.

The British Citizen Award was established in 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals who work "tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on their communities and society".