PRIME Minister Theresa May has said that a Beadlam man should be “very proud” of the money he has raised for charity.

Bernard Simpson, 88, is set to be given a Points of Light - a special award which honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

In 2003, Bernard founded the Beadlam Tractor Run, one of the UK’s largest annual tractor runs, which has so far raised more than £102,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

It has been an annual event ever since. This year’s run, on May 6, saw more than 200 tractors take part in a 50-mile route through 19 villages in Ryedale.

In a letter to Bernard, Theresa May said: “By organising the Beadlam Tractor Run and raising over £100,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, you are supporting a vital service for rural communities. You should be very proud of your achievements over the last 16 years and your success in rallying the community around such an important cause.”

“It’s a fantastic surprise and something I never expected,” said Bernard, who is the 898th winner of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

Peter Sunderland, Yorkshire Air Ambulance chairman, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Bernard has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award.

“Bernard and his family have been such an important part of the YAA family over the last 15 years and have raised an astonishing amount of money for the charity.

“The Beadlam Tractor Run has become synonymous within the YAA calendar and an event we are very much proud to be a part of.

“We’d like to thank Bernard for dedicating his time and making the tractor run such a huge success and a much-loved occasion within the community. A very deserved award and worthy winner.”

An award is set to be presented to Bernard by Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake at the end of the month.

Mr Hollinrake said: “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance needs heroes like Bernard to raise the money needed to keep two helicopters in the air seven days a week.”