Charity champ Ben scoops rising star accolade at Cumbria Tourism Awards

President of Cumbria Tourism Jim Walker presents the Unsung Hero award to Ben McGregor

AN UP-AND-COMING STAR of the Lake District’s tourism industry has been celebrated as this year’s ‘Unsung Hero’ at the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2023.

Ben McGregor from holiday park operators Lake District Estates beat off tough competition to win The Sheila Hensman Unsung Hero Award at summer’s glittering finals ceremony in Kendal.

Ben joined Lake District Estates as an apprentice two years ago and has since risen to the role of digital marketing coordinator within the company.

Not only does the 21-year-old show a maturity well beyond his years, said judges, but he is a true ambassador for Cumbria and has also helped the company embrace new technologies – including learning how to fly drones.

Alongside this, Ben is passionate about improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people. He is a volunteer youth activist with the Young Minds charity and competed in the 2023 London Marathon to raise funds.

Ben raises charity funds in the London Marathon

He has also recently taken up a new voluntary role as a trustee of local mental health charity Wave Forward, continuing to build on his experience on the front line of mental health.

At Lake District Estates, Ben works on the Being Well Together Programme with the British Safety Council and the Mates in Mind charity.

Ben said he was over the moon to receive the accolade: “It came as a massive surprise and honour to be presented with this prestigious award, in honour of Sheila Hensman who is such an influential member of the local tourism industry.

“I’m very lucky to work alongside such hard-working and supportive colleagues who have helped me grow and develop my ambitions in the workplace and beyond,” said Ben.

David Little, chief executive of Lake District Estates, said: “We are extremely proud of Ben who epitomises not only a commitment and passion for showcasing the Lake District to the world, but also a positive can-do attitude to supporting others both in and outside the workplace”.

In addition to its seven top-rated holiday parks in Cumbria and Lancashire, Lakes District Estates also operates the popular Ullswater Steamers and the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.

There is more information about the company on its website at