‘A humbling experience’: Cycling safety campaigner gets his BEM

The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis  presents Mark Smith with his British Empire Medal. ANL-171104-110732001
The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis presents Mark Smith with his British Empire Medal. ANL-171104-110732001
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A cycling safety campaigner from Chapel St Leonards has been presented with the British Empire Medal for his work helping to save lives on the roads.

Mr Smith, 47, the founder of the Ryan Smith Foundation, was awarded the BEM in the New Year’s Honours for services to supporting people with brain injuries and their families.

The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis (right) has presented Mark Smith (left) with his British Empire Medal.. Also pictured is Ryan Smith and Mark's partner Samantha. ANL-171104-110755001

The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis (right) has presented Mark Smith (left) with his British Empire Medal.. Also pictured is Ryan Smith and Mark's partner Samantha. ANL-171104-110755001

A presentation by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis took place at the Trafalgar Inn in Chapel St Leonards last night.

The lives of Mark and his son Ryan were changed forever in 2013 when Ryan suffered a life-changing brain injury.

Ryan was riding his bike when he was hit by a van and his head injury resulted in him spending four months in a coma.

Since 2013 Mr Smith has visited 110 schools and colleges nationally and spoken to more than 25,000 children, promoting the wearing of cycling helmets.

It was very humbling experience – a lovely evening in the company of family and friends.

Mark Smith

He also established the Ryan Smith Foundation which helps and supports families in the same situation.

His citation said: “He has done all of this in his own time, whilst holding down his day job as a full time paramedic at East Midlands Ambulance Service in one of Lincolnshire’s busiest areas.”

Mark received the honour from the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire in the presence of friends and family. He said: “It was very humbling experience and it was very nice to see the Lord Lieutenant again – a lovely evening in the company of family and friends.

“A massive thank you to everyone, especially my partner Samantha who made a very emotional speech.”

The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis (right) chats to Ryan Smith after presenting his father, Mark, with the BEM. ANL-171104-110817001

The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis (right) chats to Ryan Smith after presenting his father, Mark, with the BEM. ANL-171104-110817001

The British Empire Medal awarded to Mark Smith. ANL-171104-111940001

The British Empire Medal awarded to Mark Smith. ANL-171104-111940001

Mark and Ryan Smith leading the Ride for Ryan charity bike ride from Fantasy Island.in September last year. ANL-171104-104125001

Mark and Ryan Smith leading the Ride for Ryan charity bike ride from Fantasy Island.in September last year. ANL-171104-104125001