Community hero almost missed out on accepting New Year honour

Date: Wednesday 3rd January 2018
Carl Scrivens
Carl Scrivens

A MAN who has been recognised in the New Year Honours for 2018 almost missed out on accepting it after leaving his mail unopened for six weeks.

Carl Scrivens, from Glenridding, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to the community.

However, when the 50-year-old, who lives at West Side with his wife, Mandy, was sent a letter informing him of the honour, he mistook the Government branding on the envelope for being from the Royal Mint — and assumed it was just a commemorative coin he had ordered.

“When I did get round to opening it, I was in the car and pulled over to open the mail,” he said. “I was quite taken aback. I just sat there for a few minutes in stunned silence.”

Mr. Scrivens was one of the community heroes following the floods of December, 2015, and worked “tirelessly and selflessly” to help the community recover and pull together. From the first day of the floods he helped clear trees and debris under Glenridding Bridge. He spent Christmas Eve of that year unblocking and cleaning the drains of an elderly couple who were forced out of their home to make it safe for the future.

He took off more than two months from his work as an agricultural contractor to dedicate seven days a week to anyone in need, and getting the area back to the best condition possible. He was also instrumental in the setting up of the community flood group, which is still working to try to ensure that the dale is never as badly affected by flooding again.

Mr. Scrivens leads the maintenance team which is responsible for checking beck measurements and managing water and gravel levels.

He graciously says there were many others around him who contributed to what he did, including Mandy and their three children, Anna, aged 19, 16-year-old Niamh and 13-year-old Molly; other members of the community; and contractors and companies who loaned him machinery.

“Storm Desmond has taken a lot out of me, both physically and mentally,” he admits, “but there were lots of other people around me who I couldn’t have done it without.”

In addition to his response following the flooding, Mr. Scrivens has been a valued member of the community for more than 10 years, supporting Patterdale School by creating a vegetable garden and a new play area. He also carries out regular maintenance work at the village hall voluntarily and is a founding trustee of the village hall charity. His community spirit also extends beyond his own, as he also recently helped a community near Lancaster to set up its own flood management group.

Other recipients of honours in Cumbria were:

Order of the Companions of Honour: CH — Baron Melvyn Bragg (for services to broadcasting and the arts).

CBE — Nigel John Mills, co-founder and chairman, The Lakes Distillery (for services to entrepreneurship in the North East and Cumbria).

MBE — Mrs. Deborah Louise Brownson, Barrow (for services to autism awareness); Charles Richard Butler. assistant headteacher (community) and head of performing arts, Ulverston Victoria High School (for services to music education); Philip Peter Buxton, Barrow (for services to mountain rescue and the community in Cumbria); Malcolm Grindrod, Coniston (for services to mountain rescue in Cumbria); Thomas Frederic Metcalfe, Kirkby-in-Furness (for services to bell ringing in Cumbria); Adrian Treharne, Ulverston, (for services to people with disabilities in the public and charitable sectors); Christopher John Whiteside, Whitehaven (for political and public service).

BEM — Anthony Robin Ardron, Workington (for services to people with learning difficulties in Cumbria); John Roger Kennedy, St. Bees (for services to the community in St. Bees and West Cumberland); Mrs. Sarah Gertrude (Sally) Kennedy, St. Bees (for services to the community in St. Bees and West Cumberland).

Queen’s Police Medal — Jeremy Graham, Chief Constable, Cumbria Constabulary, and Mrs. Michelle Skeer, Deputy Chief Constable, Cumbria Constabulary.