FORMER Mayor and MP Ken Hargreaves has dedicated his MBE to the volunteers and charity workers of Hyndburn.
Mr Hargreaves, of Park Lane, Oswaldtwistle, was awarded the accolade in the New Year's Honours List for services to the community.
He first started his charitable work by joining the National Savings Committee in 1958, aged 19.
He went on to follow a career in Conservative Party politics which saw him become a councillor in Oswaldtwistle and then Hyndburn from 1965 to 1984.
He was Mayor of Hyndburn in 1979 and Hyndburn MP from 1983 to 1992 under Margaret Thatcher's Premiership, before losing his seat to the current Labour MP Greg Pope.
He is now president of Accrington and District Blind Society, president of Hyndburn Arthritis Care and chairman of the trustees of Maundy Relief.
He is also a member of Church and Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club, is involved with Abbeyfield Housing and Crossroads Care and helps with the Disabled Association for Sport in Hyndburn.
A staunch Catholic, he is a parishioner of St Mary's RC Church in Oswaldtwistle. He is a fervent anti-abortionist and chairman of the pro-life group Right to Life.
Mr Hargreaves, 67, who suffers with arthritis, said: "I'm touched. I'm especially delighted that people have reacted in such a lovely way.
"I have always been involved in charity things, even before I was in Parliament. I enjoy it."
He was nominated for the award three years ago by his cousin Stella Baron, who received more than 40 letters in support.
Mrs Baron said: "Even from me being very young, he was always doing something for other people."
Mr Hargreaves said the most rewarding experience he had during his charitable work was raising cash for the £90,000 refurbishment of the Accrington Blind Society headquarters on Bank Street.
Joan Worrall, chairman of the society, said: "I do know he's done an awful lot for every charity you can imagine. He has been on every fund-raising committee you can imagine. He's just supported us all along."
Dorothy McGregor, founder of Maundy Relief, said: "We are delighted because he does so much in such a variety of ways for all the community. It's the unheard, unsung things that people don't know about. We'd like to congratulate him and it's a real privilege to have him among us. We'll have to curtsey now."
In 1990, Mr Hargreaves founded the Movement for Christian Democracy with Liberal Democrat MP David Alton and served as vice-chairman.
After his General Election defeat, he worked for Conservative Central Office liaising with Conservative Clubs.