The founder of an aid charity has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s honours list.
Bill Hampson, from Lowton, received the honour for his services to vulnerable people overseas.
Made a Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire in 2005, Bill has been a leading campaigner for human rights. A lot of his work has focused on Eastern Europe since he founded the Epiphany Trust, based in Newton-le-Willows, in 1991.
Bill is director of the charity and it is nearly 30 years to the day since his first aid convoy went to Romania, where he has helped support a number of vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in the country.
After the Romanian Orphanage Crisis of 1990, he was involved with refurbishing part of an orphanage and providing training for the demoralised and overworked staff who worked there.
In 1991, he then set up a “Camp Romania” Programme which saw more than 500 young people undertake a programme of activities, and which continues to be a success to this day.
While his work also saw him establish a house called “The Arc” in 2005, for four former orphans too old to remain in the orphanage and facing a very fragile future, providing them with a safe and stable home and giving them confidence and skills.
Bill has also overseen projects in Burma, helping to support Karen schools on the Thai – Burmese border.
He has also co-founded Child Action Lanka to establish a Street Kids Centre in Kandy, a pre school for the children of tea pickers in the Hill country and financed a school for children with profound disabilities. Bill, who is also a founder member of the Jubilee Campaign, has a background in surveying which has seen him work in Europe and the Middle East.