Mountain Rescue Chairman and British Mountain Guide awarded MBE

Posted by Emma Travers on 10/06/2019
Mountain Rescue Chief Mike France MBE with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Photo: Getty Images

Congratulations to Mountain Rescue England and Wales Chairman Mike France and British Mountain Guide Rob Collister who have both been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Mike France MBE

Chairman of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, Mike France, has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Mountain Rescue. He was appointed an MBE after having been a Mountain Rescue volunteer for almost 50 years.

He said "I feel genuinely honoured and humbled to receive this award. As a mountain rescuer you are used and committed to turning out as and when required in order to help others. To have that work recognised like this is a real honour - not just for me but for all mountain rescuers who selflessly turn out when everyone else is going home."

Mr France is a member of Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team in West Yorkshire and has served as team leader and is currently regional incident controller. In his service with Mountain Rescue, he has helped out in several major disasters, including the 1988 Lockerbie air crash, the 1989 Kegworth air disaster and the 2007 Sheffield floods.

“There is a tremendous feeling of relief when you know you have helped someone. I am in the very lucky situation that I know my actions, directly or indirectly, have helped save someone’s life, perhaps that of a vulnerable old man who has wandered off from home. I know in my career I have been in the fortunate position of saving lives many times and few people can say that”.

Rob Collister MBE

Mountain Guide and current Vice-President of The Alpine Club, Rob Collister has been awarded an MBE for services to mountaineering and conservation. Rob has been qualified and guiding since 1976 and is a very experienced and well respected UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide, having guided clients on climbs and ski tours on ever continent.Nowadays, to reduce his carbon footprint  he commutes regularly to the Alps by train from North Wales. Rob was also a member of Snowdonia National Park’s northern access forum and has been a Director of the John Muir Trust and the Mount Everest Foundation.

He has written several books including ‘Days to Remember: Adventures and Reflections of a Mountain Guide and 'Over the Hills and Far Away'.  See interview here

Further awards

Others from the outdoors world included in the honours list are Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who was made an OBE for services to young people, the media and charity, and Chief Officer of Paths for All Ian Findlay, was appointed a CBE for services to healthy lifestyles and outdoor activities.

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