New Year honours: Recognition for unsung heroes in the public sector
After a year beset by international crises from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to the Libyan uprising, Britons who helped in emergency rescue efforts were recognised in the New Year honours list, boosting the roll call of unsung heroes from the public sector.
Emma Wade, the former head of the crisis group at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, received an OBE for leading the evacuation of thousands of British nationals from Egypt and more than 700 from Libya and also responding to the earthquake in New Zealand, unrest in Ivory Coast and the disaster in Japan.
Matthew Lewis, a diplomat who led the FCO’s first rapid deployment teams into Egypt and Libya, received the same honour, while Carole Ann Johnson, the deputy high commissioner to Malta, received an MBE for her part in the Arab spring evacuations.
Three Japanese drivers for the British embassy in Tokyo, Tsuneo Ogata, Isamu Suzuki and Jun Yanagiya, received honorary MBEs for driving into danger zones despite the risks of further earthquakes, tsunamis and radiation leaks.
At home, Christopher Preddie, whose cousins Danny and Ricky Preddie were jailed for the killing of Damilola Taylor, received an OBE for his crime prevention and youth work after turning his back on his life as a gang member.
MBEs go to Robyn Keeble, 21, who with other young people helped set up SW!TCH ID to change perceptions of youths by encouraging them to make a positive contribution in their local community, and Terence Monaghan, who created a volunteer driving service in Essex called Stock Cares to get vulnerable people to health appointments.
In education, Jeanette Orrey, the former dinner lady who invited chef Jamie Oliver and his TV cameras into her canteen kitchen, received an MBE, and there was a damehood for Sylvia Morris, headteacher at the Cathedral School of St Saviour and St Mary Overy, Southwark. In total 15 headteachers, and 10 school and college principals were recommended for honours.
MBEs also went to stonemason Alan Horsfield, who was honoured for services to St Paul’s Cathedral, Welsh caretaker Robert Owen, who was recognised for services to the community in Holyhead, Anglesey, and Mary Watt, who was rewarded for services to highland dance teaching in Ross-shire, Scotland. Lyndie Wright, of the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, north London, received her accolade for services to the craft of puppetry.
In healthcare there was an MBE for Christine Mills, founder of the Hope for Tomorrow Charity. Her fundraising efforts resulted in the opening of the first mobile chemotherapy unit in the UK.
Among the honours for police officers was the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service for DCI Caroline Goode, who led a complex investigation into the “honour killing” of Banaz Mahmod, 20, who was murdered in 2006 by members of her family who disapproved of a man she had fallen in love with.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010