Bristol heroes feature in New Year's honours list
From the man who saved the Old Vic from closure to another who designed a hugely successful range of children's suitcases, Bristol has a lot of people to be proud of.
Dick Penny – former executive chairman of the Old Vic – and Rob Law, the man behind Trunki suitcases, are just two of the Bristolians named in today's honours list.
They are joined by the likes of community hero Edna Stinchcombe, who along with her husband Dennis has worked tirelessly to help young people in the city.
Dick Penny was appointed MBE for services to the creative industries in Bristol.
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Mr Penny, 56, who lives in Cotham, said: "I have to say, it came completely out of the blue. I have no idea who nominated me and I'm absolutely flattered."
Mr Penny, managing director of Watershed Media Centre and chairman of the Bristol Partnership, stepped down as executive chairman of the Old Vic in King Street in September.
He took over the venue in 2008, when its revenue was diminishing, the building required substantial repairs, and the Arts Council proposed the withdrawal of its funding. The venue reopened earlier this year after a period of closure and will undergo a £19 million refurbishment next year.
Rob Law, the 33-year-old entrepreneur behind the huge success of the children's Trunki suitcase, is celebrating the close of a memorable year with an MBE.
Despite receiving a terrible mauling on TV show Dragon's Den, where none of the celebrity investors would put money into the venture, Mr Law's firm, which is based in The Dings, has been an incredible success.
Mr Law said: "I am hugely humbled to be recognised in the New Year's honours.
"2010 was really a fantastic year for us; we launched five new products, struck a deal with one of the US's biggest toy companies, picked up our 36th award – not to mention seeing 750,000 Trunki cases reaching more than 60 countries."
Edna Stinchcombe has supported her husband Dennis for many years as he has received various awards – including an MBE in 2004.
Now it is Mrs Stinchcombe's turn, and she has been appointed MBE for her work with young people.
Not only has Mrs Stinchcombe, 53, of Cadbury Heath, fostered more than 100 youngsters at their home over the years, but she also works at the Bristol Attendance Centre, providing much-needed guidance and support to young people in Bristol.
She said: "I couldn't believe it when I got the letter, I was so excited. It is like winning the lottery."
Steve Dayman, 61, chief executive of Bristol-based Meningitis UK, has been appointed MBE for his services to healthcare. The charity boss has led the fight against the killer disease since the death of his son 28 years ago.
Mr Dayman, who lives in Alveston, said: "It's a great honour to be recognised by your country.
"The progress that's been made in the fight against meningitis has saved many lives and this wouldn't have been achieved without the support of thousands of families across the country who have also been affected by this devastating disease."
Alison Comley, who works for the city council and leads work with Safer Bristol and on Neighbourhood Partnerships across the city, has been appointed MBE.
Ms Comley, 48, of Kingswood, said: "I have worked for 25 years in local government alongside many people who go that extra mile every day to try to make a difference.
"At a time when local government is under great pressure, I am proud to accept this on behalf of all of those people who want to make Bristol a better place."
The chief executive of youth organisation Young Bristol, Trevor Jones, has had his hard work recognised with an MBE.
Mr Jones, 57, of Backwell, has worked for the organisation for 22 years. He said: "I was very pleasantly surprised, and honoured, to receive the letter.
"It is not just about what I have done, it is also about what everyone else has done within the organisation."
George Denford has been appointed MBE for his services to the community of Hartcliffe and Withywood.
The 80-year-old, of Withywood, has volunteered for several local groups over the years, striving to help young people and keep the area in good condition. He said: "Getting the letter was a big shock. I said to my wife, 'you're going to the palace'."
Jackie Naysmith, 70, of Brislington, has been appointed MBE for her voluntary service over the last 11 years to the War Widows' Association.
Mrs Naysmith, a retired post office worker, lost her husband in 1998 and soon after became membership secretary of the association.
She said: "When I opened my letter I was hit with a sense of disbelief. But I am honoured, and feel that I am representing all the ladies from the association, which does such good work."
Eileen Chisholm, who has raised thousands of pounds for Children's Hospice South West, was appointed MBE for services to the community in North Somerset.
Mrs Chisholm, 89, who lives in Hutton, near Weston-super-Mare, worked tirelessly to support the hospice in Wraxall and has been helping others her whole life.
Responding to the announcement, she said: "I couldn't believe it. I thought it was incredible."
During her working life, Mrs Chisholm was employed at the William Knowles Centre for children with learning difficulties in Weston-super-Mare.
She is also heavily involved in the Victoria Methodist Church in Weston and serves as the vice-president of the Royal British Legion in Hutton and a member of the village's horticultural society.
Roger White, a former academic who helped set up education and training specialist Asdan, capped off a memorable year by being appointed OBE.
He retired this autumn as chief executive of the St George company which offers vocational courses for schools and colleges across the country, and was named business of the year in this year's Evening Post Business Awards.
Mr White said he was thrilled but was keen to point out that the success of his company was very much a team effort.
He added: "All achievements that result in the award of an OBE are the result of collective endeavour."
Fiona Steele, a professor of social statistics at Bristol University, has been appointed OBE for her services to social science.
The 40-year-old, who lives in Westbury Park, said: "I am delighted.
"I think the award recognises the role of statistics in social research, which is what I have dedicated a lot of my time to."
Jean Dagnall, 84, of Clevedon, has been appointed MBE for her work with the Clevedon and District Archeological Society.
Mrs Dagnall, joined the society in 1970 and was chairman for two years in the 1970s, before becoming honorary secretary for 33 years.
She retired from the role in 2009 and was made their president.
Roger Nightingale, of Weston-super-Mare, has been recognised for his ongoing commitment to charity work with an MBE. Mr Nightingale established the Nightingale Group in 1961, which has grown to be one of the largest businesses in North Somerset, and works hard to support the local community.
He said: "I have considered it a privilege and an honour to be involved with many charities right across the region."
A former chief executive of United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust was knighted.
Ron Kerr CBE, 60, chief executive of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, was honoured for services to healthcare. He joined the trust, one of the biggest in the UK, from Bristol in 2007.
Dr Elizabeth Mackenzie, former chairwoman of the Friends of Bristol Museums, Archives and Galleries, has been appointed MBE for services to museums.
Former consultant pathologist Dr Mackenzie, 76, who lives in the city centre, began supporting museums in the city in 1976. She said: "I was tickled pink when I found out. I felt very proud."
Jenny Body, who helped blaze a trail as a female engineer in the aviation industry, has been appointed OBE.
Mrs Body was head of research and technology and business development at Airbus in Filton until her retirement.
She said: "I am so proud to receive this recognition, especially as a woman in the engineering profession."
Helen Sage, formerly programme co-ordinator at City of Bristol College, was also appointed MBE for her services to further education.
Ministry of Defence employees Stuart Long, from Bristol, and Andrew Weston, from Portishead, were appointed OBE. Their colleague John Murray, from Bristol, was appointed MBE.
Occupational therapy assistant Carol Flower, who works for North Somerset Primary Care Trust, was appointed MBE for services to healthcare.