A PRISON officer at March’s top-security Whitemoor Prison has spoken of his ‘surprise and delight’ after being awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Len Dunbar, a Senior Prison Officer at the jail for the past 22 years, said the honour had come completely out of the blue and even thought it was a ‘wind up’ when he received the letter.
“I thought someone was having a joke at my expense - it is something I never expected. But I am obviously really delighted,” said Len, who is married with four grown-up children.
He has been at Whitemoor since the prison opened in 1991 and his prison service follows on from more than 22 years in the army - he was in the intelligence corps.
News of the award has prompted letters of congratulations from former colleagues and friends that he has lost touch with over the years.
“It has been really nice to hear from people I haven’t seen for many years ago,” explained Len.
The award’s citation states it has been given for Len’s ‘continuous dedication and achievement in the prison service as a role model and his meticulous high standards’.
This latest accolade follows on from an award made last year when Len won the Life Time Achievement Award in the 2010 National Prison Officer of the Year Awards.