A Co Antrim Army cadet lieutenant is to be honoured with a Point of Light award from the Prime Minister.
Lieutenant Stephen Lyons from Ballymoney, who led his unit during the pandemic delivering food parcels to the vulnerable, will receive the recognition from Boris Johnson on Friday.
He joined the Army Cadet Force 11 years ago after a long career in the reserve army and has been described as having “changed the lives of many of his cadets at his detachment”.
As well as leading the delivery of regular food parcels and gifts during the pandemic, Lt Lyons also set up virtual bike rides, walks and exercise classes during lockdown to keep hundreds of cadets across Northern Ireland mentally and physically well.
He said he felt “extremely humbled” by the award, “especially at this time when so many people are volunteering to help others in such difficult times”.
“I believe this represents all the hard work done by all those adults for young people in the Army Cadet Force and other youth organisations,” he added.
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis congratulated Lt Lyons and commended how his “inspirational example has made a real difference to his community during Covid-19”.
“This award is heartily deserved, and the positive impact of Stephen’s efforts will be much appreciated by all those who have benefited from his excellent public service,” he said,
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey said Mr Lyons “epitomises the 27,000 cadet force adult volunteers who are key in delivering the ‘cadet experience’ to 120,000 cadets across the country”.
Mr Lyons is the 1,686th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live.