A restaurateur from Prestwich who spearheads a children’s charity was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.
Michael Hymanson will take a trip to Buckingham Palace with his wife Sheralyn, later this year to collect his MBE.
The 61-year-old was given the award for charitable services to children and young people over the 26 years.
He told The Guide: “When the letter came through the door, I assumed it was about tax or something. I was speechless when I opened it. It is such an immense honour.
“I’ve had so many people on the phone to me in the past few days saying how brilliant it is and wishing me well.”
Mr Hymanson worked as a solicitor for more than 30 years until he embarked on a radical career change — buying the 47 King Street restaurant in Manchester city centre and running it with Sheralyn and their two adult sons, Barry and Howard.
Mr Hymanson said: “My late father Henry was involved with charities and always keen to help others and I have always believed that is the right way to be.
“In 1987, I started a charity called Children’s Aid, which has raised money for hospital equipment and continues to do so.
“We would also arrange for children in need to go to the seaside — places like Southport — for breaks and it was very rewarding.”
One of Children’s Aid’s most notable achievements was helping the family of Prestwich cancer victim Robert Broude raise £250,000 to improve facilities at The Christie’s young oncology unit, where Robert was treated before his death in 2004.
In the early 1990s, Mr Hymanson found out about the work of Destination Florida, a charity that makes it possible for youngsters with terminal illnesses to go to Disney World in America.
“I went along on one of the trips and I was hooked. The children get an unbelievable amount out of the trips and we’ve been running them every two years since,” said Mr Hymanson, of Woodthorpe Grange.
Destination Florida’s administration manager Arthur Arrowsmith said: “Michael is the lynchpin of the charity and the motivator. Without his knowledge and his connections, the charity wouldn’t survive. I am thrilled that he was been given this award for his tremendous effort.”
Karen Phillips is chief executive officer of the Fed, a charity that provides social care support for the Jewish community. She said: “I’ve known Mike for more than 12 years. He’s worked tirelessly, in his free time to make things happen and the children with special needs who my organisation support have been amongst the beneficiaries of his efforts. His quiet and humble approach belies the drive which has made the impossible a reality.”
n—Destination Florida is running a trip in September for 75 children. Visit destinationflorida.org.uk n—Yvonne Moore, from Whitefield, received a British Empire Medal for her services to the local community, and was featured in last week’s Guide.