A PRISON officer from Grantham is to receive an honour for his work in helping inmates at HM Prison Stocken.
John Lloyd-Jones was put forward for the award by the prison governor, having worked as a prison officer for 37 years.
Mr Lloyd-Jones, of Harrowby Lane, Grantham, said: “It came as a total surprise. I received a letter about six weeks before saying I had been put forward by David Cameron to the Queen for the award.
“I had no idea who had put me up and couldn’t tell anyone for six weeks so I couldn’t find out.
“I thought it might all be a wind up - people are prone to do that.
“But I’m very, very pleased and honoured to be awarded.”
The medal recognises Mr Lloyd-Jones work alongside the Samaritans and their Listeners Scheme which has helped cut the inmate suicide rate.
“The Samaritans come in and train prisoners to be “Listeners”. The work has made a considerable difference since it was started and has helped reduce the suicide rate in the prison.
“It has taken a considerable amount of effort from the Samaritans to do this.”
Mr Lloyd Jones says he has seen “vast, great changes” in the prison system over almost four decades.
He added: “There has been too many changes to describe but I have enjoyed my time.
“I think you try to lead by example where you can.”