Queen's Birthday Honours for Bristol's unsung heroes
You may not have heard their names before but the 15 people from the Bristol area honoured today in the Queen’s Birthday List richly deserve the recognition for their dedicated service. From academics who have improved understanding of a changing world to volunteers who run the organisations that help bind society together, each has made a valuable contribution. LizWebster and Sam Rkaina spoke to some of them.
LYNNE James, the manager of Hartcliffe Children’s Centre, said she was staggered to hear the news that she had been awarded an OBE.
The 58-year-old has dedicated her career to working with young people in south Bristol.
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In the last 30 years moving her way up from deputy head of the nursery, as it was then, to manager of the children’s centre.
Ms James, who lives in Horfield, said: "It was a bit of a surprise and I’ve absolutely no idea who’s nominated me.
"I started teaching in Bradford, in Yorkshire, and then came to Hartcliffe where I’ve stayed for 30 years."
Marjorie Atkinson organises Christmas lunches for the elderly as well as regular coffee mornings but at 82 is showing no signs of slowing down.
The East Harptree resident, who used to run a London pub and has worked with the fire service, said she has never stopped working in the 26 years she has lived in the village.
Awarded the MBE for services to older people, she said: "It’s a real shock.
"When I first moved here I started working as a warden and things just grew and grew.
"I’d really like to thank all the girls that helped me over the years and especially Brenda, who is my rock."
The volunteers at St John Ambulance left such an impression on Barry England he decided he would give up his time to support their work.
The 69-year-old from Abbots Leigh has notched up 15 years of service and been honoured with an OBE.
The former regional corporate director of Barclays Bank said: "I was originally asked by a friend to lead a fundraising campaign 15 years ago, we raised £1million.
"I was so impressed with the work of volunteers I wanted to help. I thought my business experience would be the best way of doing that. It’s amazing to be nominated for work I’ve loved doing."
The managing director of the Institute of Physics Publishing will retire on a high this summer after being awarded an MBE.
Jerry Cowhig, 64, who lives in Clifton, has been head of the Bristol-based company, which employs 250 people, for the last 15 years.
During that time the company, which produces scientific publications for the Institute of Physics and other organisations, has seen massive expansion.
Mr Cowhig said: "I’m embarrassed to take the credit for this because it is down to a team effort.
"As a company we also try to play our part in the cultural life of Bristol.
"I’m very honoured to receive an MBE."
Carol Propper, professor of economics of public policy at Bristol University, has been awarded a CBE for her services to social science.
The accolade recognises her research into public economics and economics of health care as well as her work with colleagues from other social science and medical disciplines.
Professor Propper said: "I’m delighted and very pleased that my work across the social sciences has been recognised in this way."
Stephen Sparks FRS, professor of geology at Bristol University, is also made a CBE for his services to environmental science.
The award recognises his research into volcanology and geological hazards, and his role in providing scientific advice to government on issues that include the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat, radioactive waste disposal and the recent volcanic ash crisis.
He said: "I am very pleased that my contribution to fundamental science through my research on volcanoes and its application for the benefit of society has been recognised."
The partner of a Filton man who died of epilepsy has been awarded an OBE for her services to families who have lost loved ones to the condition.
Jane Hanna is the director of charity Epilepsy Bereaved, which supports families and campaigns for more research and improved treatment.
After her partner, Alan, died suddenly and unexpectedly aged 27, Ms Hanna founded the charity together with Alan’s mother Sheila Pring and three other women who had lost people close to them.
Superintendent Chris Ware was awarded policing’s top accolade, the Queen’s Police Medal.
The 51-year-old, who lives near Weston-super-Mare, left behind five years in the merchant navy to join Avon and Somerset Police 30 years ago.
He helped to launch the constabulary’s helicopter unit as well as organising numerous Royal and VIP visits.
He has work in operations planning and helped to dramatically reduce the negative impact Glastonbury Festival had on neighbouring villages.
He said: "I was very surprised, and felt quite humble, when I heard about the award.
"I am proud of my policing career, but could not have achieved half of what I did without the support of those around me.
Chief Constable Colin Port said: "I am delighted that Chris has been awarded the QPM.
"He has proved himself again and again as an officer who gets things done to the highest possible level."
Carol Metters was given an MBE for services to disadvantaged women and children in Bristol.
The grandmother from Knowle is the director of Queen Square-based Missing Link, an organisation she set up 28 years ago to support women in the area with mental health problems.
Next Link is another organisation she set up, to support victims of domestic abuse in Bristol.
She said: "When Missing Link was first set up a lot of women with mental health problems ended up homeless.
"Since then we’ve helped literally thousands of women who have lost housing, jobs or children.
"I’m absolutely delighted, it really is a great honour."
Peter Hodge received the MBE for voluntary service to the Normandy Veterans’ Association.
Mr Hodge, 68 of Highridge, started the Sword Fund in 1982 with the aim of helping less fortunate veterans.
The former ship’s pilot said: "I founded the second Normandy Veteran’s Association and now we have 112 branches in eight countries.
"I’m absolutely thrilled to bits with the award."
Peter Farr, the former chairman of Bristol Community Housing Foundation, was awarded the MBE for services to social housing.
The 72-year-old from Horfield played a key role in the Horfield Regeneration Scheme.
He said: "I took over when we had no money, no houses and no land.
"We overcame many hurdles to get the project completed, and we did it on time and on budget.
"It’s an honour to receive this award on behalf of all the volunteers who gave up their time."
Neil Middleton is the chairman of governors at City of Bristol College, and he received the MBE for voluntary service to further education.
The 67-year-old of Nailsea has been a governor at the college and its forerunner for 25 years.
He said: "The most rewarding part of the college is the significant contribution it makes to the education of young people and adults in Bristol. We have grown from a large-ish college to one of the largest in the country.
"It’s nice to see recognition for all the people who volunteer. It was a total surprise."
Lady Danusia Trotman-Dickenson, 81, was given the MBE for services to education.
She is the chair of the Welsh Heritage Schools Initiative and lives in Siston, near Mangotsfield.
Lady Trotman-Dickenson said: "It’s very much about teamwork, we are dedicated to trying to encourage young people in Wales to appreciate their heritage.
"I feel very privileged to receive the award, I didn’t expect it at all."
Robert Bernays, of Wotton-under
Edge, was awarded an OBE for services to the community in the South West.
Mr Bernays is a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers and chairman of St Monica’s Trust, a charity that provides accommodation and care for elderly people and the disabled. The trust operates a number of homes across the Bristol area, including a number of sheltered housing schemes.
Mr Bernays, the former owner of Old Down Country Park in Tockington, near Thornbury, is also chairman of J&M Britton Charitable Trust, a deputy lieutenant in Gloucestershire and a trustee of the Nepali Children’s Trust.
Richard Gammon, of Stoke Bishop, received the MBE for his services to the community in Bristol.