‘Receiving the British Empire Medal was one of the proudest moments of my life’

Keith Tulsie, 52, an Openreach manager from Salford, last week received the British Empire Medal in recognition of his charity work, helping raise over £170,000 for disadvantaged children.
"Seven years ago, my friend Steve’s 19-year-old daughter, Georgia Murray, passed away. She had suffered from a heart condition since birth. 
"After her death, Steve went travelling around the world, and after seeing the plight of many children in Cambodia, he vowed to help them in Georgia’s memory.
"In 2011, he held a music festival in Salford and this has now become an annual fundraiser to help those children, known as the G-Festival. Steve also founded a charity, Georgia’s Children of the World, which soon funded a small school in Cambodia to support an education programme for disadvantaged children. This became known as Georgia’s House 1, and today there are five venues: three in Cambodia, one in Romania and one in Salford.
"My 20-year-old son, Jordan, was born with two holes in his heart, and I first met Steve through our mutual efforts to fundraise for the charities that had supported our children. Jordan, my wife, Kathryn, and my daughter, Leah, all work for Openreach, and I have another son Danny. When Georgia died, we volunteered to help Georgia’s Children of the World and we’ve been supporting the charity ever since.
"Employees at Openreach are able to apply for up to three days a year volunteering for our chosen cause, so last year a team of 15 of us helped fit out Georgia’s House 5 in Salford. I was overwhelmed by the support from my colleagues and by donations from the business, amounting to £4,500 over the last year. 
"In total, Georgia’s Children of the World has raised more than £170,000 in the last five years, which helps relieve poverty and sickness while improving the education of many disadvantaged children.
"A former manager nominated me for a Queen’s Honour in recognition of my charity work, and receiving the British Empire Medal was one of the proudest moments of my life.
"I was truly humbled and proud that it highlights the work the charity does.”