A CHARITY champion whose passion for education has directly helped more than 2,000 children has been recognised with a national honour.

Mayoor Patel, aged 56, has been selected to receive a British Citizen Award (BCA) for his services to international achievement.

The BCA awards were launched last year to recognise exceptional individuals who work to make a positive impact on society.

Mr Patel, of Heaton, has been fundraising for charity since the age of 13 and has been instrumental in raising more than £1.5 million for three charities – the OKAS Fund, which helps disadvantaged students in Uganda; Polio Children, which supports those affected by polio; and Little Drops Shravana, which provides a free service for hearing impaired children in India.

He is also involved in numerous other charities and projects, including the Milapfest Trust – the UK’s leading Indian arts development trust.

Mr Patel began his charitable work after being inspired by his father, who had served in the Ugandan government 30 years before the family was expelled in the 1970s.

He is a passionate advocate of ‘education at any cost’ and believes that self-sufficiency is the key for communities and projects. With this aim in mind, he relentlessly pursues fundraising and awareness programmes, undertaking presentations across his many networks, as well as at Lions clubs, schools, universities and temples.

Mr Patel said: “It was a complete shock when I found out that I would be receiving a British Citizen Award, I was speechless. I don’t do this work to be rewarded, I do this for the children and it is a big part of my life. However, it is nice to have been recognised, and I feel very proud.”

The British Citizen Awards are in partnership with customer experience management company, InMoment.

Mrv Patel was nominated for a BCA by his friend Vilas Patel.

Vilas said: “I have known Mayoor for almost five years, and he is a very genuine, honest and kind gentleman. When I heard of the British Citizen Awards I knew instantly that I wanted to nominate Mayoor for an award as he has done a lot of charity work and I feel he is thoroughly deserving.”

Mr Patel is one of 33 medallists who will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony on January 28, at the Palace of Westminster. Successful medallists are selected from public nominations by a panel of independent assessors.

All BCA recipients have positively impacted society by undertaking various activities in support of a number of causes. Each will receive a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medallists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.