A DEAF civil servant and sailing enthusiast had a right royal day out when he went to collect his MBE – alongside one of Hollywood’s power couples.
Simon Terry, 36, of St Leonards, went up to London on Thursday (February 24) where Prince Charles presented him with his gong. And Mr Terry picked a good day for his trip to Buckingham Palace, as also there were Catherine Zeta-Jones – collecting her CBE – and superstar husband Michael Douglas.
“It was a very good day and a brilliant experience to be inside the palace - it was so much bigger than I expected and there were guards everywhere in proper formal clothes.
“It was good to meet the other people there and we saw Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, although they were kept separate. Prince Charles said well done and that it was good to see people making a difference - he asked about my work and my sailing.”
Mr Terry has worked for the Child Support Agency here in Hastings for 14 years, rising to become a team leader and advising the agency on national projects. He has worked with East Sussex County Council promoting career opportunities for disabled people and passes on his passion for sailing to disabled youngsters through the Sussex Sailiability Club.
Mr Terry was accompanied by his wife Anna and proud parents Elizabeth and Donald.
“We went out for dinner the night before and had a nice lunch to celebrate after the ceremony,” he said. “I would never have got the MBE if it wasn’t for my parents and my friends who have supported me over the years.
“It is just sinking in now really. It was really weird for all of us to get back to normality even though we were only in London for a couple of days.”