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Steve Lowthian, from Middridge, awarded OBE for services to child benefit reform
A FATHER-OF-THREE who received an OBE for his services to child benefit reform says he feels humbled by the Royal recognition.
Steve Lowthian, from Middridge, near Newton Aycliffe, started work as a civil servant in 1980 and moved into the child benefit sector in 2000, where he helped to establish the first child trust fund office in 2004.
After a spell working for the tax office, Mr Lowthian moved back to the child benefit department, where he is now head of operations in Washington, Tyne and Wear, managing a 600-strong workforce which looks after 13 million customers.
Mr Lowthian, who has three children – Charlotte, 25, Thomas, 19, and Ben, 15, – said he felt quite emotional when he was notified of his honour.
He said: “I wondered why someone had nominated me because I am only doing my job. It was really nice to tell my wife, Karen, and my children.
“I get a lot of job satisfaction from helping vulnerable customers and it’s nice to get formally recognised for the improvements we have made. It is very humbling.”
His accolade also included his services to children’s football in Durham, in recognition of voluntary role as a parent helper with his son Ben’s football team at Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre.
Mr Lowthian praised the other parents who also help out at the facility and said the under-15s team coach, David McWaters, was doing “a fantastic job”.
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