COMMUNITY champion Brian Myers proudly accepted his MBE at Buckingham Palace last week.

The grandfather-of-two, who was honoured for his services to the community in Willington, was presented with the accolade by Prince Charles.

Councillor Myers, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Alice, said: "It was absolutely an unforgettable experience.

"I felt humbled and really very proud to accept the award. But I went to accept it on behalf of the community of Willington and the surrounding area, because at grass roots level it's the local people who make things happen.

"The ceremony took around one-and-a-half hours and Prince Charles had a few words with everyone.''

The 60-year-old is a member of Durham County Council and a former member of Wear Valley District Council, as well as being chairman of Willington Community Partnership.

Among the projects he is most proud of is helping re-open a condemned bank as an information and learning centre. When he learnt that the town's Barclay's Bank was to close, he approached the company who agreed to sell the building at a reduced price.

He also played a major part in transforming Sunnybrow Chapel, which was damaged in an arson attack in 1992.