A FORMER west Dorset resident has been recognised in the New Year's honours list for his fundraising work for a blood cancer charity.

Richard Delderfield has been awarded an MBE for 30 years of service, raising money for Bloodwise. Mr Delderfield, who lived in Thorncombe before moving to Essex in 2013, has volunteered for Bloodwise since losing his teenage son, Paul, to leukaemia, in 1985.

Mr Delderfield said: “After six treatments of chemotherapy, he was fine, but the disease returned very quickly.

"After much persuasion, he was given the latest treatment available but lost his brave fight and passed away in August 1985. He was 17 years old."

He was awarded the MBE for services to the charity, which changed its name from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in 2015, as well as for his services to the Thorncombe community.

He added: "I am humbled, yet proud and honoured to have been awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours list, not only for my service and dedication to the charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, which is now called Bloodwise, but also for my community involvement in Thorncombe, Dorset.

“I cannot think of a more fitting way to mark my 30 years of commitment to beating blood cancer – it has been a long road, always with the memories of our dear son Paul urging me onwards – after all these years I feel that his death was not in vain.”

Mr Delderfield, 74, who is honorary president of the national charity, was a member of its board of trustees for more than 20 years and served as its vice chairman between 2007 and 2013, as well as acting as chairman for a time.

Richard lost his mother to leukaemia when she was just 42. His son Paul was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in October 1984. He had just started sixth form and was interested in pursuing a career in nature photography and film.

In 1985, months after their son’s death, Richard and his wife, Angela, joined Sir Ian Botham on his first legendary John O’Groats to Land’s End fundraising walk to beat childhood leukaemia. Richard was inspired by the cause and has joined Sir Ian on every walk since 1992 for the charity, becoming the collections organiser for the walks. Richard was also instrumental in setting up and organising many of the charity’s bikeathon events, both locally and nationally, which have raised millions of pounds.

Diana Jupp, acting chief executive of Bloodwise, said: “This award could not be more deserved.

"Richard has worked tirelessly for the charity over many years, helping to develop many of our flagship fundraising events. During this time, thanks to the research that these events have helped fund, the outlook for children diagnosed with leukaemia has been dramatically transformed.”