CRY Founder awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Photo of Martyn Dunsford

We are thrilled and proud to be able to announce the news that Martyn Dunsford has been awarded an MBE for services to young people through the charity Care and Relief for the Young in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Since he founded Care and Relief for the Young (CRY) in 1992, Martyn’s work has given hope and opportunity for a new life to thousands of children. His colleagues and all connected with CRY are delighted that his efforts over so many years have been nationally recognised by this award; it could not be more well deserved.

Martyn’s life has been characterised by compassion for those in need. He and his wife Gaynor were foster carers for several years, and when they travelled to Romania in the immediate post-communist era they witnessed the horrifying conditions that children and young people had to endure in those terrible orphanages. They were shocked too when they saw the thousands of street children sheltering in underground sewers in the capital Bucharest. Often moved to tears (hence the name of the charity - CRY) they decided to do something about it, and Casa Robin Hood, a home for street children, was born.

Martyn in Laos

Supported by King’s Community Church, Hedge End, Southampton and by many friends from far and wide, businesses and community groups, gradually CRY expanded its work into other countries. CRY charity shops have provided a steady income, CRY Jersey our sister charity was established, and the charity grew.

Over the last 27 years, Martyn’s legacy has been around 90 different projects operating in some 45 countries helping thousands of children. Currently, CRY is working in 28 countries through 35 projects. CRY’s projects include: refugee work in such places as Greece and Iraq; children’s homes and child care in places like Myanmar and Togo; schools and education in areas like Albania and Guinea; direct support to the poorest families in countries like Somalia and Laos; medical care to help reduce infant and maternal mortality rates in Cambodia; food and nutrition in the world's poorest places including Haiti and Mozambique. The work continues to grow.

Speaking about his award Martyn said:

What a completely unexpected surprise! I really don’t feel I deserve any such award, far from it, but it’s such a great honour to be recognised in this way for which I’m very grateful and absolutely delighted.

It’s been the privilege of my life, together with my wife Gaynor, to have been able in some small way to provide Care and Relief for the Young in a number of different countries around the world, where we have seen close up deprivation, desperation and despair of so many people, especially children.

Together with a great team of people here in the UK and with partners abroad demonstrating truly amazing compassion and passion, we have sought to play our part down through the years, to help where we can, to alleviate the suffering and hopelessness we have witnessed. We still CRY when confronted with such heartbreaking situations. The work continues, greater than ever.

I hope you don’t mind if I take this opportunity to invite you to find out more about CRY’s work and get involved in some way.

For more information about the ongoing work of the Care and Relief for the Young and how to become involved or support its work, please visit:

For media enquiries, please call: Chris Tait, CEO on 01489 788300 or
For general enquiries, please contact