PARENTS who founded a brain tumour charity following the death of their daughter have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Neil and Angela Dickson, from Dogmersfield, near Odiham, have received MBEs for their work on brain tumour research and support.

The couple, both aged 67, founded the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust in 1996, following the death of their daughter at the age of 16, and raised £140,000 in its first year.

The charity, which has now become The Brain Tumour Charity, is set to raise more than £6million in 2014, and it has been credited with halving brain tumour diagnosis times.

Reacting to news of the MBE award, Mrs Dickson told The Gazette: “At first, I did not believe it, and thought my husband was pulling my leg.

“We are absolutely thrilled, we really are. We have obviously done this in memory of our daughter and worked really hard, but to have this special honour is really thrilling.”

She added: “I am sure our daughter would be absolutely thrilled too. For us, it is still all for her – it’s her award as well.”

Mr Dickson said when they founded the charity, there was no support for families whose loved ones had been diagnosed with brain tumours, despite it being one of the deadliest of cancers.

The couple started the charity from their home in Chatter Alley, before moving to premises in Hartley Wintney, then Yateley, and then to their current base in Farnborough.

Mr Dickson said: “In those days, there was nothing. There was no support or research. Since we started, we have come a long, long way and there’s now a lot more support and research available.”

Also on the honours list is former Basingstoke and Deane Mayor and current county councillor Keith Chapman, who has received an MBE for services to arts and culture.

The 72-year-old, who lives in Pamber Heath, stood down from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in 2012, having served on the local authority for 32 years, and he is currently executive member for culture recreation and countryside at Hampshire County Council.

Cllr Chapman, who represents the Calleva and Kingsclere ward on Hampshire County Council, was a key figure in bringing The Anvil to Basingstoke in 1994, and recently led a bid for funding the refurbishment of the M33 First World War coastal bombardment vessel in his current role.

Reacting to his award, he said: “I have been rather taken aback by it all. It is not something that I expected, and I kept on having to read the letter.

“One of the things that people do not realise is how important the arts are and how they affect local people’s lives.”

Other Hampshire recipients include John Bonney, the retiring Chief Officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, who was awarded a CBE for services to fire safety.