The widow of a prominent business executive has collected a royal honour in recognition of the couple's philanthropy in the North East.
Lyn Shears, whose late husband Trevor was part of the management buy-out that formed Newcastle transport group Go Ahead in 1987, received the honour from the Prince of Wales for their dedication to supporting the arts in the region.
Through a combination of awards from The Shears Foundation and The Shears Funds at the Community Foundation, the Shears family has donated millions to causes in the North East including the Sage Gateshead, Live Theatre and the Tyneside Cinema.
Mr Shears died earlier this year, and his widow said: “It’s vitally important to introduce more young people to the arts because they are the audiences of tomorrow.
“My husband and I always felt that we got so much more from the giving than the recipients did. We never did it seeking recognition but it’s a huge honour to receive the medal from The Prince of Wales. It’s sad that Trevor can’t be here but I know he would have been immensely proud.”
The Shears are the first philanthropists in the North East to be recognised with a Prince of Wales medal, having been nominated by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.
Rob Williamson, chief executive of the Community Foundation added: “It’s a real testament to our region that Lyn and Trevor are the first family in the North East to be recognised for their arts philanthropy. Not only does it highlight the strength of philanthropy in our region, but it illustrates the strength of our arts scene too.
“This is something that Trevor was hugely passionate about, and I am delighted that Lyn and Trevor have been recognised for their outstanding contribution.”