DENNIS Simpson was given the Unsung Hero award.

The award was one of the most popular with dozens of people nominated, ranging from school caretakers to Mr Simpson, who started work at Stourport High School and Sixth Form in 1988, was praised for dedicating so many years to helping the pupils.

The workshop and school technician has served the school for 28 years and is said to have saved taxpayers thousands by giving so much of his own free time.

Throughout the 1980s and 90s he helped boys who were struggling by training them in woodwork, metalwork and prefabrication.

Thanks to his input, some of the youngsters who may have been excluded were able to carry on at school.

One who said Mr Simpson helped him described how he left school with few qualifications but was able to set up his own successful business thanks to the guidance and support he received from Mr Simpson.

At the event, Mr Simpson said: “I’m overjoyed.

“I can’t believe it.

“The teachers found, with the challenging students, they could send them to me and I could get some progress out of them and so for many years I was doing that.”

Mr Simpson was also responsible for discovering the Stourport National Boys School memorial board, which commemorated 80 students and one teacher who fell in the Great War.

Mr Simpson, who served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, enlisted the help of the boys doing his special projects and they restored it to its former glory.

He petitioned the school governors for it to be hung in the school hall, where it forms the centrepiece of the school’s Service of Remembrance.

This was the start of a series of history projects in which Mr Simpson has championed restoring memorials and has acted as a guardian of the school’s history.

With classic modesty, Mr Simpson said: “I found the school memorial board in the back of the old boiler house.

“We restored it.

“Over the years we have restored quite a few.”

His nomination said: “He is the archetypal gentleman who is uncomfortable with public accolades.

“He is the embodiment of a generation who believe that they have a duty to serve others and that they are ‘just doing their job’.”

The runners up were Sharan Gledhill, at Tudor Grange Academy Worcester, and Jamie Boswell, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.

Mrs Gledhill received multiple nominations thanking her for being a ‘kind and supportive’ teacher over a long career.

Mr Boswell was praised for giving up his own time to help set up sporting clubs at his daughter’s school.