A LIFELONG volunteer from the Vale of Glamorgan has been acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

In recognition of more than 40 years of service to the local community Edward Jenkins is set to receive the British Empire Medal for his work with local voluntary organisations, including Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern and the South Glamorgan Association for the Deaf.

The 74-year-old has said said he is "immensely humbled" by the recognition.

"I’ve been involved with charity work for around 60 years and most of the things that I have achieved I’ve done as part of a team," said Mr Jenkins.

"It’s because of our involvement with other people that the successes we’ve had have been able to become a reality.

"Without the support of my wife also, who has shared me with various organisation over the years, I am sure I would not be receiving this accolade.

"You do these things without thinking there’s a reward at the end of it, so it’s an enormous privilege to be recognised in this way and it’s quite humbling really."

Mr Jenkins was the founding chairman of the South Glamorgan Association for the Deaf and continues to play a prominent role within the deaf community around South Wales.

The fact both Mr Jenkins' parents were prelingually deaf – born deaf and mute - is one of the key reasons behind his passion to help others in the community facing similar barriers, he said.

He added: "For me it’s created greater awareness from a young age that the world isn’t a perfect place.

"It definitely opened my eyes to the fact that there are many people around the world that need other people’s help, and many situations that require other people’s input."

Mr Jenkins’ current ambition is to see British Sign Language (BSL) recognised as an official language in Wales – something he believes will have a significant impact on improving their access to important public services.

"Whilst it’s not a political subject, the best vehicle to promote the adoption of BSL as an official language in Wales is a political platform," he said.

"It has to start locally, getting local authorities to accept that there are people who are limited and ensure those deficits can be overcome.

"Profoundly deaf people should have access to public services in the same way that you or I. Currently they are in a situation where they need support with something and they are unable to communicate with anybody as to what they need. Recognising BSL officially, as Cardiff has recently done, would be a huge step in addressing this inequality."

Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns paid tribute to all Welsh recipients, in a statement given earlier today.

"I’m delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to everyone recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list," he said.

"It is always so uplifting to hear of the good work being done by those honoured, and to see the positive difference they make to our nation. I am proud to add my thanks and congratulations to them all."