A BISHOP'S Waltham charity worker has been made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Christian social entrepreneur Nigel Hyde has been recognised for his work in west Africa.

Mr Hyde is the founder and chief executive of Home Leone, based on Botley Road, which helps the poor and homeless, particularly in Sierra Leone.

With Mission Direct, he enabled thousands of volunteers to use their holidays for good and build infrastructure in some of the poorest places on earth.

With an approach of joining people in what they are doing well, Mission Direct built schools, homes, clinics and enabled teacher, corporate, and health training teams to come alongside many. This work impacted hundreds of thousands of people and inspired many to establish new charitable initiatives.

For Nigel, the worst place he had visited on earth, was the slums of Freetown. In 2013/14 he walked these slums, talked to government, NGOs and more and realised there was no clear plan for the horrific living conditions endured by so many. There was already a huge volume of consultant’s reports studying the problems in depth. As a Christian, Nigel had a clear vision from The Lord to build a new village, as a beacon of what is possible. Already the first 250 ex-slum dwellers have been given this new opportunity.

Nigel said: “This is just such a fantastic honour. I am grateful to my wife Susan, and all who have helped along the way. Based in Bishop's Waltham, local people have contributed with finance, volunteering and loading containers to send much needed aid. Among other local contributors are Southampton Solent University who sent equipment before the pandemic and churches like Eastleigh Baptist who sent a volunteer team.”