LOCAL hero Philip Holmes has received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list to recognise the charity work he has been doing in Nepal.

Lt Col (retd) Philip, who lives just outside of Kingsbridge in Ledstone, has been working tirelessly to help vulnerable people in Nepal by setting up a refugee camp for children who had been sent to prison with an adult, due to there being no adults able to take care of them.

Philip lived in Nepal with his wife Bev between 1999 and 2012, where he set up The Esther Benjamins Trust in memory of his late wife, Esther.

While there, he headed up a project which resulted in the closure of two child trafficking routes. Philip and Bev returned home in 2012 and adopted two Nepalese children and Philip wrote his memoir.

After returning to the UK, Philip set up another charity, Pipal Tree, which operates only in Nepal.

After helping adult and child victims of sexual assault, and offering support during the earthquake of 2015 and the floods of 2017, the charity have moved onto fighting the effects of Climate Change.

Philip aims to have planted 1million trees by 2030, whilst providing community engagement that supports the most vulnerable ethnic groups and women. 

Philip said: “I’m over the moon by this tremendous honour, but I’ll not be resting on laurels.

“My charity faces huge challenges in Nepal at a time when fundraising is more difficult than it has ever been in my 23 years in the sector. Hopefully, this appointment will also help open a few doors that will allow my work to be sustained and indeed expand in the coming time.”