A MAN has been given a very special award for his contribution to the people of Carlisle during the pandemic.

Chris Armstrong was presented with the British Empire Medal by the Lord Lieutenant on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.

Mr Armstrong said: "I still can’t believe I’ve been awarded this, and can now officially add BEM to my title.

"I would like to thank each and every person that helped the group out, some from the very start right till the very end.

"It's unbelievable to look back and see what we all achieved during a very difficult time."

Chris was presented with the BEM award on Monday of this week.

The service took place at the Lady Gilford centre in Carlisle.

He spent the duration of lockdown helping to keep care worker's spirits high.

Along with ensuring that people in the area were well looked after.

Chris was part of a team that delivered treats to NHS staff and board games to residents in care homes.

It was announced that Chris was getting the award last year but due to Covid restrictions it has taken until this week.

However, the service looked amazing and Chris voiced his delight on the situation through social media.

Mr Armstrong said: "It's not really settled in yet you don't realise how big of an award it is."

"We weren't doing it for recognition we just wanted to help."

Chris started the idea of helping others with a football team that he was part of.

They had some money collected together which they used to buy pizzas and other treats for NHS staff.

He soon became involved with a Facebook group that started to help people in care homes.

He soon began running the group himself doing lots of great work to help out those who needed it most.

Chris felt that this was important because many were isolated from their friends and loved ones.

He also did food shops for people not wanting to leave their home and delivered sanitiser.