The Fleetwood-born chief executive of walking charity Living Streets has been named in the New Year Honours list.
Joe Irvin has been awarded the OBE for his services to walking, active travel and the wider charity sector.
Since joining Living Streets in 2014, Joe has successfully raised the profile of the charity and the rights of pedestrians.
Joe was part of the successful campaign which saw the UK Government’s first-ever Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, and also helped forge a Walking and Cycling Alliance.
With Joe at the helm, Living Streets has celebrated many other successes which make lives easier for people walking and encourage healthier and cleaner ways to travel.
Joe, who later moved to Preston and now lives in London, said: "I’m honoured to be awarded an OBE for my work in promoting walking, active travel and wider charity causes.
"This is recognition that making our streets safer and more attractive for walking and cycling is vital for our health and our environment.
“I’ve always been motivated by helping others whether in my charity work, in public service or in trade unions. In turbulent times it is salutary to stop and recognise the great positivity, generosity and kindness that people involved in the voluntary sector bring.”
Between 1997 and 2010 Joe acted as adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister, and later in the Prime Minister’s office.
He also worked for the RSPB, the TGWU union and the TUC.
Joe is a Trustee of Voluntary Action Islington, has been a judge on the Guardian Charity Awards and Charity Times awards, and an advisory to Charityworks, Child Poverty Action Group, and Apex Trust.