A SELFLESS man who has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity has been made an MBE.

Graham Gifford Curtis, aged 85 from Dorchester, was among those included in the New Year Honours List.

Mr Curtis, who is well known for his charity work, said: “I was really surprised when I found out. I’m not a great one for honours and what have you, I just try and get on with the job.

“I don’t have a clue who recommended me.

“I like to help people in different circumstances, it runs in my family.”

Over the year’s Mr Curtis has been involved in a number of fundraising initiatives.

He said: “I started the Rotary Club Christmas draw back in 2004, that’s raised more than £100,000 for various local charities.

“I have also helped raise money for two disabled buses which together cost £112,000.”

Last summer, Mr Curtis completed the Dorchester and District Lions Club 2k fun run in his wheelchair.

He raised more than £3,500 for Dorset County Hospital to help buy a new Ultrasound machine for the Respiratory Department.

Mr Curtis is also the chairman of Dorchester Disabled Club.

His daughter, Tess Eagles, said: “My dad is one of the most unassuming men ever.

“He has raised all this money over the years and he never takes any credit for it.

“The award is well deserved. He has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for different charities.

“He really deserves this.”

Also recognised in the New Year Honours List was Police Constable Claire Dinsdale who was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).

PC Dinsdale is the driving force behind Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, which prevents and detects rural crime across the county.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “PC Dinsdale is a fantastic advertisement for the force.

“I regularly receive letters from the public praising our officers and many of them speak about Claire and her positive influence across the county.”

Also recognised on the New Year Honours List from Dorset are two men who survived the Holocaust, and have since dedicated their lives to educating others about the atrocity, have been honoured by the Queen.

Henry Schachter, who is 80 and lives in Bournemouth, will be awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Holocaust Education and Awareness in the New Year honours list.

He regularly speaks to schools, community groups, religious organisations and local authorities about his family. Over the years, he has shared his story with 40,000 adults and children through the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Outreach Programme.

Mr Schachter, who lived with a Christian family to keep him safe from the Nazis, last saw his parents on his fifth birthday. Both were captured and forced on death matches.

Henry’s parents were eventually forced on death marches to Germany.

His mother was taken to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died, while his father was shot dead whilst trying to escape from Flossenberg.

In December 1945, Mr Schachter arrived to live with his grandfather, aunt and uncles in the UK.

Yesterday, he said he was “surprised” to have received the honour – and will continue to talk to others about the dangers of racism and anti-Semitism.

“Racism can spring so easily from words to deeds if left uncontrolled,” he said.

William Bergman, 86 and of West Parley, has been made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Holocaust Education and Awareness. In the past five years alone, Mr Bergman has spoken to almost 13,000 people about his experiences.

He also regularly travels long distances from his home to speak to university audiences, in a bid to combat campus antisemitism.

Mr Bergman was born in Birkenhein, East Prussia in 1933. In November 1938, then aged five, he witnessed the Nazis burning down his local synagogue and the surrounding houses during Kristallnacht.

His family were forced to flee their home, and his father was interned in Dachau concentration camp.

The family arrived in Southampton in 1939, but were interned in the Isle of Man as stateless ‘enemy aliens’.

After their release in 1941 his father went to work on a farm and then later in a factory. Many members of their family and community were murdered at Treblinka in 1944.

Discussing the honour, Mr Bergman said: “I was overwhelmed. The first thing that went through my mind was this isn’t for me, this is for the six million people who went into the gas chambers. I am just a man that is representing them. Those poor men, women and children are getting this honour.”

Police officers, charity volunteers and lifesavers are also among those honoured.

Bill Ezekiel, 55 and of Bournemouth, will receive a BEM for voluntary service to Surf Life Saving GB.

For the past 31 years, he has given his professional services to Southbourne Life Saving Club, Surf Life Saving Great Britain and Surf Life Saving Internationally, raising £80,000. Since its inception five years ago, he has been chair and trustee of Within Wessex Flood Rescue, and has raised £100,000. He also led the way in securing a new clubhouse for the Southbourne Surf Life Saving Club through grants, as well as doing the practical build work to finish the building.

“Receiving the honour is going to be an exciting day out,” said Mr Ezekiel. “It is nice to just have that acknowledgement - getting someone saying you deserve this.”

Derek Paul Radley, of Broadstone, will also be given a BEM for services to the community of Dorset, with his volunteering work at the local Victim Support School’s Project and the Poole-based Green Island Holiday Trust.

Mr Radley said he felt very proud to be receiving the award, which is mainly concerned with his dedication to the School’s Project, aimed at Sixth Form Students throughout the County. He concentrates on their safety and gives crime prevention advice to students who may be leaving home for the first time, especially when they intend to continue with further education. He has been working with schools in the Dorset area for the past 11 years and estimates that as many as 30,000 students have benefitted from his presentations.

His volunteer work with the Green Island Holiday Trust includes a one-week residential holiday for people with disabilities at Holton Lea and he gives talks to local groups on his experiences. He is also a previous president of Wimborne Rotary and is still heavily involved with Rotary events in the area Jae Harris, 50 and of Christchurch, will receive a BEM for services to young people and the community.

Mr Harris has been part of Christchurch Activities for Young People (CAYP), which runs holiday activities for families and young people, since 2004.

Faced with redundancy he established CAYP as an independent community interest company to secure its provision. The organisation now offers education programmes, youth exchange projects and after school drop-in sessions.

In 2015, Mr Harris founded the Christchurch Open Award Centre, which provides a space for young people and parents.to discuss any problems or concerns. He also established the People’s Pantry in May 2018. The service distributes surplus food from Fareshare which would normally go to landfill.

Dr Rachel Hartnell was also awarded a BEM for services for animal health and welfare.