Bristolians from all walks of life recognised in New Year's Honours
A SELFLESS community stalwart who helps to feed Bristol’s homeless every weekend is one of those to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.
Martyn Poole, 66, was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community.
As a founder of the Bristol Soup Run Trust, he has been its driving force for more than 25 years, organising food, toiletries, clothing and blankets for Bristol’s inner city homeless every Saturday night.
He was among 20 people from all walks of life from around the Bristol area to receive honours.
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A couple from Redland who have fostered more than 90 children over the last 33 years, a Bristol children’s doctor who has made a huge difference to paediatric medicine in the city, and the founder of Weston-super-Mare's Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) Concert Band were also among those honoured.
Mr Poole, who lives in Meadow Close, Downend leads a team of voluntary workers from various churches who work on a rota basis every Saturday night.
As well as feeding the homeless, they also provide them with pastoral care and advice in coping with everyday living.
They also encourage those living on the streets to get in contact with their families, and have enabled some to find work and housing, allowing them to regain their place in society.
Retired British Aerospace engineer Mr Poole’s volunteer work knows no bounds and for the last five years he has also been involved with Haven House, an orphanage in India.
Thanks to his fundraising efforts and ability to motivate others he has raised more than £50,000 which has enabled him to provide bunk beds, build and equip a school at the orphanage, and create a medical centre for the deprived villages nearby.
In addition to his work with the homeless and the orphanage in India, he is also a school governor at St Augustine’s School in Downend, a voluntary worker at his local St Peter's Hospice shop, and a parish councillor with Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council.
Foster carers Jackie and John Franklin, both 62, from Redland, were both appointed MBEs for services to children and families.
They have cared for more than 90 children over the last 33 years, including babies who are drug addicted, blind children, and those with hearing problems and Down’s Syndrome.
They used to foster up to three children at a time, sometimes with only one hour’s notice, and currently have an eight-month-old baby with them.
Meanwhile, Bristol children’s doctor Professor Bhupinder Sandhu was appointed an OBE in the New Year Honours.
The 61-year-old, who lives in Clifton, was honoured for her services to children’s medicine.
The paediatric gastroenterologist has worked at Bristol Children’s Hospital for nearly 25 years, and when she started she was the only woman doctor on site.
She came to England from India in 1963 and had to study in her own time to make up the qualifications she needed to read medicine at university.
After her appointment in Bristol, she built a children’s gastroenterology unit dealing with nutritional diseases.
The unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital now serves the whole of the region.
Peter Skellon said he was 'somewhat surprised' to find out he had been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Weston-super-Mare's Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) Concert Band.
Father-of-two Mr Skellon, 62, a former clerk and established musician in the RAF, set up the band in 1998 after the town's RAF Locking Camp closed.
Mr Skellon, who plays the tuba and double bass, has led the 30-strong band ever since as its musical director, playing at venues across the country, raising tens of thousands for charity.
His band has also performed in front of Princess Anne when she visited Weston as well as at the National Arborteum and the Bristol Harbour Festival.
Michael Shore, president of the Bristol and District Rugby Football Combination, was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to community rugby in the south west.
Mr Shore, 75, of Sea Mills, has been president of the combination for more than 20 years and a member for more than 40.
Community champion Monica Murdoch, 83, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in her home village of Blagdon.
Among her activities, Mrs Murdoch, a mother of two, cooks once a month for the local lunch club, of which she was treasurer for many years.
She also does a variety of voluntary work, including as a driver for the Church Helpline in the village which helps arrange lifts to medical appointments for those who cannot drive.
Margaret Darg, 58, of Langford, has been appointed an MBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to the administration of justice.
Mrs Darg, a mum of one, has been a magistrate on the North Somerset bench for 15 years.
As well as sitting on the bench, Mrs Darg also organises tours, talks and visits to help raise awareness of the work of magistrates and of how the criminal justice system works.
Bob Nicholson has been appointed MBE for his services to tourism in Somerset.
Mr Nicholson, of Burnham-on-Sea, has been involved in promoting tourism in Sedgemoor and Somerset for the last 55 years, and from 1986 to 2009 was chairman of the Sedgemoor Tourism Association.
In 2009, the association changed and became the Somerset Tourism Association of which Mr Nicholson, 71, was also chairman for two years before stepping down in 2011.
Keen not to lose Mr Nicholson and his years of experience in promoting the area, the group asked him back to serve as president – a role he still holds.
Mr Nicholson has spent all his life promoting the area and entertaining people visiting Somerset – a passion which started when he joined the summer carnival committee in 1989.
Defra Policy officer Jane Withey, founder of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime, has been appointed an MBE for services to Wildlife Crime Enforcement.
Miss Withey, 54, of Keynsham, was also appointed an MBE for her 37 years service to Girlguiding in North Somerset.
Margaret Jackson has been appointed an MBE for her services to charity for her work in helping launch and run the North Somerset Masonic Widows Association.
Grandmother of four, Mrs Jackson, 81, of Redhill, was spurred on to help set up the association in October 1996 after her husband Percy, who was a mason, died in June 1981, leaving her with three young sons.
The pensioner has held the position of chairman of the association, which has around 100 members, ever since.
The association, which is open for widows of masons, meets each month and enjoys talks, outings and holidays together as well as raising thousands of pounds for charity.
Kathy Ford, head of corporate information services for Avon and Somerset Police, has been appointed MBE for services to information management in policing.
During her 22 years with Avon and Somerset the Portishead mum-of-two has been involved in setting up the 1998 Data Protection Act in the force area and took responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Bichard Report and the Freedom of Information Act in 2000.
Highly acclaimed landscape artist and sculptor Richard Long has been appointed a CBE for services to art.
He was born in Bristol in 1945, studied at the University of the West of England’s college of art and St Martin’s School of Art in London, and he has exhibited all over the world.
Mr Long, who still lives and works in the city, is a “land artist”, working with wood, mud and other natural materials he collects from the countryside.
He has been nominated for the Turner Prize more times than anyone else, in 1984, 1987, 1988 and finally in 1989 when he won.
Dr Marian Frances Liebmann was appointed an OBE for services to social justice through art therapy and mediation in Bristol and overseas.
Dr Liebmann is a world expert in restorative justice and former director of Mediation UK.
She has also worked as an art therapist for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust and is author/editor of The Use Of Art In Working With Conflict, and Art Approaches To Conflict.
Martin Sadler, director of the Cloud and Security Lab at Hewlett Packard Laboratories based in Stoke Gifford, has been appointed an OBE for services to science.
He also supports HP’s Security Office to coordinate security efforts across the company.
Sadler, who has a degree in pure mathematics, lectured in theoretical computing science and advanced software engineering at Imperial College, London, before joining HP Labs in 1989.
He subsequently managed projects in the area of telephony call control before leading early work on e-business and security.
An acclaimed scientist who grew up in Bristol and later gave his name to the “God particle” was made a Companion of Honour.
Professor Peter Higgs, now 83, attended Cotham Grammar School and was inspired by the work of one of the school's alumni, Paul Dirac, a founder of the field of quantum mechanics.
His namesake, the Higgs boson, or so-called “God particle”, was finally proved to exist in July, 48 years after he first proposed it.
Dorene Hargreaves has been keeping people active for 50 years at her fitness classes, held weekly at St Francis church hall, Ashton Gate, and Wick village hall, near Warmley.
Mrs Hargreaves, 80, who lives with her 82-year-old husband Stanley at their farm in Wick, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Bedminster and Wick.
She said she “couldn’t believe it” when she received a letter informing her about the honour.
As well as keeping three classes full of women over 50 fit, she also raises money for charity at social events and has recently helped runners to warm up for Cancer Research UK’s Bristol Race for Life, leading a 10-minute aerobics session, set to music, form a stage at the Downs before the fundraising run, which this year raised £500,000.
Former High Sheriff of Bristol Robert Durie has been made an OBE for services to the community.
Mr Durie, who is 71 and lives in Abbots Leigh, is also a former president of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, and a trustee of a number of charities, including the Anchor Society, which supports isolated elderly people in the area, and Bristol Youth Community Action, which provides opportunities for young people from disadvantaged communities.
The chartered surveyor worked on many of the city’s biggest developments, including Redcliffe Quay and Imperial Park, working for Stanley Alder & Price, JP Sturge and Sons which later became King Sturge, before moving to Alder King.
He also led, as chairman of Bristol Marketing Board, a delegation to California in 1982 to bring silicone chip manufacturers to the city.
Ruth Pickersgill, formerly diversity manager at Leicester College and currently based in Fishponds, has been appointed MBE for services to further education.
Catherine Greig, who is general manager of The Travelling Light Theatre Company in Barton Hill, has been appointed an MBE for services to theatre for young people in Bristol.
OTHER HONOURS RECEIVED NATIONALLY
CYCLIST Bradley Wiggins capped an outstanding year with a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.
The first ever British winner of the Tour de France and road race gold medallist was one of a swathe of Olympians and Paralympians on a list which recognised both the stars and the unsung heroes of the unforgettable London 2012 games.
Made a knight alongside Sir Bradley was British Cycling performance director David Brailsford, sailing gold medallist Ben Ainslie and British Rowing performance director David Tanner, while Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey becomes a dame.
Fellow gold medallists Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Victoria Pendleton, Kath Grainger and David Weir were all made CBEs for services to their sports, while Andy Murray, Ellie Simmonds, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott, Charlotte Dujardin and Sophie Christiansen were made OBEs.
More than 60 Olympians were made MBE, including gymnast and Strictly Come Dancing star Louis Smith, boxer Nicola Adams and long jumper Greg Rutherford.
Of those behind the scenes, Jean Tomlin, who was in charge of the 200,000-strong army of Games Makers, becomes an OBE, while further honours went to senior figures responsible for planning the four opening and closing ceremonies, the Olympic village, torch relay and cultural Olympiad.
Games chairman Lord Coe becomes a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.
Away from the Olympics, Cherie Blair becomes a CBE for services to women’s issues and to charity in the UK and overseas, actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Stella McCartney were both made OBEs and controversial artist Tracey Emin is made a CBE, along with singer Kate Bush and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips.
Cartoonist Quentin Blake, best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, has been knighted.