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A Family Tradition

Tuesday 12th July saw father and son, Richard and Matthew Hyde from Ramsey, at Windsor Castle receiving their MBE and OBE respectively.  What a wonderful tribute to a family who have spent all of their lives serving others in the community.  Both Richard and Matthew were interviewed on our Over to You programme back in 2020 when they heard the good news about their awards.

Richard told our listeners that the family were all together on Christmas Eve 2019, with a glass of champagne in their hands when Richard’s youngest son, Matthew, announced to the gathering that he has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for his work with young people.  Matthew has been the CEO of the Scout Association for 8 years and before that had been the CEO of the National Union of Students.  Matt has been involved both professionally and as a volunteer in many charities and organisations dealing with the issues of young people. Much celebration took place and Richard decided not to spoil his son’s moment.

So, it was Christmas Day, with the family gathered again, that Richard announced that he too, had also received an invitation to visit the Palace this March to be presented with his MBE medal.  Matthew thought his dad was joking, as this was the kind of prank his dad might play, until Richard proudly produced the official letter from his pocket proving his claim to be true.

Richard told our presenter, on the programme that he had spent his life being involved with charity work and has encouraged all of his 4 children to do the same.  He was a founder member of the Ramsey Rotary which was started in 1969 and is still an active member. This year Richard was invited to be the Rotary president for their Golden Anniversary year, a post he could not resist. Together with his charity work with the Ramsey Rotary Club, Richard has served on many different notable committees in and around Ramsey town over the years, working with passionate people who were keen to serve their community. Richard has been involved in both Ramsey Methodist church and now St Thomas A Becket Anglican church where he is currently chairman of the Appeals Committee.

Matthew said: “We were brought up to believe in service and serving the community and helping other people, and that’s what we say every time when Scouts across the country take their promise.

“That’s part of the DNA of us as a family and how we were raised by mum and dad, and it gets passed on to the next generation and on it goes.”

His own grandfather had been a member of the Scouts and received a medal from the Scouts’ founder Robert Baden-Powell in 1931 for saving a young boy from a river in Ramsey.

Speaking about the ongoing importance of the Scouts in the aftermath of the pandemic, Matthew said: “We had a really challenging time during the pandemic, but we’ve just added 60,000 new youth members onto our membership over the last year, the highest growth since 1942. So we’re here, standing up, ready to serve those young people and serve our communities.

“Young people are coming back in droves and they know that scouting is good for them, and parents and carers know that scouting is good for their young people as well.”