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King honours ex-army volunteer and IOSH man

Date posted
05 January 2024
Jeremy Waterfield
Estimated reading time
3 minute read

David Whimpenny CertIOSH, was awarded the OBE in the King’s New Year Honours List for 2024. The honour, made to recognise the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK, is for David’s voluntary services to the Royal British Legion.

The benefits of being a volunteer can be wide-ranging, rich and rewarding. They can change you as a person, enhance your transferable skills and attributes and make yourself and others feel extra proud of what you achieve.

This has certainly been the case for David Whimpenny, an IOSH member since 2015, who lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire and is a former British army officer of more than 30 years’ service. He was inspector for occupational safety and health for the Army Inspectorate in nearby Andover during this time. Becoming a board trustee of the Royal British Legion in 2013 after a long association with the Legion was, therefore, a natural move for him and he went on to serve for a full nine-year term.

But it was the link into becoming a trustee of the National Memorial Arboretum, between Lichfield and Burton-on-Trent, on the edge of the National Forest in Staffordshire (the 150-acre visitor site is part of the British Legion) that would lend most prominence to his volunteering career. David was appointed its chair in 2014, a position he would hold for eight years. During this period he oversaw two award-winning construction projects: the remodelling of the Remembrance Centre and the development of the Aspects events and conferencing facility.

Developed on reclaimed gravel workings bordered by the rivers Trent and Tame, the Arboretum saw its first planting in 1996 before being officially opened by HRH the Duchess of Kent in May 2001. It features the Armed Forces Memorial, a national monument to those who have lost their lives on duty or from an act of terrorism since the Second World War.


David now works for Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK, as Chief of Staff Digital Services. While his day-to-day involvement in occupational safety and health isn’t as great as previously, he is still responsible for the health and safety of colleagues in the London office, working closely with the building facilities team.

“I’m very grateful to CCS because I would never have been able to give my voluntary work the commitment it required without the support and understanding of my managers and colleagues and the flexibility shown by the CCS in allowing me the time I needed to give,” says David.

“I like to think they got something back from their investment, however, not just from backing me to do something both parties believed in, but also benefiting from having a manager who has become more rounded, much more capable of leading people because of their voluntary work experience.”

These skills and experience have been developed even further through David’s continuing board involvement with two other charities: The War Widows Association of Great Britain and Gul Outdoor Therapy, which exists to improve the well-being of as many individuals as possible through activities in the outdoors

Add in the countless 2.5-to-6-hour car journeys between David’s home near Salisbury to Staffordshire and you get an idea of David’s long road to volunteer success. An OBE would seem only right and proper reward for the contribution made by this CertIOSH.

Last updated: 31 January 2024

Jeremy Waterfield

Job role
Content Officer


  • Professional development