Barrie Wells MBE smiles at the camera on the balcony overlooking the sports courts.
Edge Hill honorary doctor Barrie Wells, now MBE, opened the University’s Sports Centre in September 2015.

Congratulations to Edge Hill honorary doctor Barrie Wells, an inspirational sports philanthropist and successful entrepreneur, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours List.

The Founder and Chairman of the Barrie Wells Trust was praised for devoting his life to helping others and for making the dreams of many come true.

Through his work he has helped some of the UK’s top athletes achieve their potential, as well as inspiring the sportspeople of tomorrow and providing opportunities for seriously ill children to enjoy world class sporting and entertainment events.

Speaking after the news of his MBE award, Barrie said: “I am deeply honoured to have been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in her New Year Honours List, with support from many wonderful people along the way.

“I am also privileged to be able to offer my time and funding to a cause I truly believe in.  I began by supporting athletes for the benefit of school children up and down the country and now the Barrie Wells Trust is making a real difference to seriously ill and disabled children through Box4Kids.  Thank you to every single person who has helped the Barrie Wells Trust over the years.”

Barrie was made an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration by Edge Hill University in 2014 in recognition of his remarkable charity work.

In 2009 he set up the Wells Sports Foundation after being inspired by a visit to the Beijing Olympic Games. He decided to offer funding to athletes to help them achieve their dreams of gaining a podium place at the London Games, in return for the athletes to give up their time to inspire school children to take up sport.

The athletes he has supported who have taken part in the scheme include Heptathlon World Champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, also Patron of the Barrie Wells Trust having been supported by Barrie since the age of 15; and Olympic medallists Jessica Ennis-Hill and Beth Tweddle.

In 2010 Barrie launched Box4Kids, which provides seriously ill and disabled children with VIP experiences in executive boxes at sporting and entertainment venues. So far this scheme has helped more than 9,000 children and their families enjoy a once in a lifetime experience. Barrie, originally from Liverpool and a student of Merchant Taylors’ School in Crosby, was a financial services entrepreneur and was also a non-executive director of M&S Money. Since 2008 he has dedicated 100% of his time to his charity.