A caretaker for Richmond College was among the lucky few to have been given a British Empire Medal for his services to further education.
Sobhag Narshi Shah, 64, has dedicated 29 years of his life as head caretaker to the college in Egerton Road, where he lives with his wife Harsha Shah and sons Nikhil Shah, 25, and Neel Shah, 22 – who have all studied at the college.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List was published last weekend, with the re-introduction of the British Empire Medal creating more opportunities to recognise the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK.
Mr Shah said: “I am over the moon to receive this award. I started at the college on a temporary basis, but enjoyed it so much and they liked me, so I was employed full time.”
His favourite parts of the job are helping set-up for exams and chatting with people around the college, but he said he likes the job because it is so varied.
Principal David Ansell praised Mr Shah for his dedication to the college over the years.
He said: “Mr Shah is the first to volunteer and is always there when needed on the frontline or behind the scenes.
“He is very well liked and respected across the college community and his ability to build relationships together with the voluntary work that he undertakes, makes a valuable contribution to the college’s reputation and standing in the local community.”
Mr Shah also volunteers for the Oshwal Elderly Welfare Association, the Twickenham British Legion and the Twickenham Neighbourhood Watch.