A retired Wiltshire Lieutenant Colonel has received a national award and has been saluted by the Prime Minister after spearheading a charity that raises millions to help young people involved in the Armed Forces take part in adventure expeditions.

Philip Neame, 68, of Malmesbury, was inspired to launch The Ulysses Trust 22 years ago after leading a group of Territorial Army volunteers on an expedition to Everest.

Since then the trust has given £2m in grants and has enabled more than 20,000 cadets and reservists to undertake more than 1,800 potentially life-changing expeditions across the globe.

Without the support of the trust many participants, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, would not have been able to take part in such inspiring and character-building events, such as sea voyages and jungle treks.

Throughout that period Lt Col Neame has remained the driving force of the body and last month ran a 10k race to help raise further funds.

He is the 86th recipient of the Prime Minister’s Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers who are inspiring others.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Philip has been instrumental in supporting thousands of reservists and cadets to take up a challenge and be inspired.”

Lt Col Neame said he felt privileged to receive the award but felt he was doing so “primarily on behalf of all those others who have supported the Ulysses Trust over 22 years, either as fellow volunteers or financially. We can only continue with their help.”

He felt the trust enabled “many young people to engage in opportunities for their personal development which might otherwise be beyond their financial reach. For some, these opportunities can be simply life-changing”.