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OBE awarded to boss of Harveys of Halifax

The chairman of department store Harveys of Halifax in West Yorkshire has been awarded an OBE for his services to the local community.

Roger Harvey began his retail career with an apprenticeship at department store Kendals in Manchester, and then aged 20 joined the family business Harveys of Halifax, which his father founded in 1951.

Harveys of Halifax is still family owned and run, and trades from a 30,000sq ft store on Commercial Street in the town.

Harvey will receive his OBE from the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in March.

The honour recognises Harvey’s support for the local area, most notably via a training scheme for young people called Project Challenge. Harveys of Halifax supported the cause with in-store events, and some youths on the scheme were hired to work at the retailer.

“The mission is to unlock the potential of young people that may have been caught up in drugs, criminal activity or have had little opportunity,” said Harvey. “It gives people a chance to get on the right track. The participants are taken on a ‘journey’, offered training and challenges, and those who have completed the course have an excellent rate of employment.”

Harvey added that he had been touched by local people’s response to his award. He said: “I have received so many cards, letters and emails from staff, customers and well-wishers - it has been quite moving.”

The department store has improvements planned for this year, Harvey said. “We had a tough end of 2008 until November, when things picked up. We had a successful Christmas and Sale. We are probably going to refurbish our 120-seat restaurant this year and will continue to make improvements throughout the store.”

Harvey recently stepped down from the managing director position, which has been taken over by his daughter Tracy Harvey, and he said the store would continue as a family business.

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