Congratulations to those honoured by the Queen in the New Year's Honours list 2021. In a year that has truly tested the resolve and determination of those on the frontline, the New Year Honours List includes 1,239 recipients, recognised for their extraordinary contributions in all four nations of the United Kingdom.
This year's honours list features a particularly large number of people honoured for their work in the field of health and in helping their communities deal with COVID-19
The New Year Year Honours List 2021 recognises the achievements of both men and women in almost precisely equal proportions - 49% of recipients are women - and recognises men and women from all kinds of backgrounds - 14.2% of recipients come from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, 6.9% of those honoured consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010); and 4% of recipients identified as being LGBT+.
The great majority of those honoured, eight hundred and three, which is 65% of the recipients, are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their local communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity;
Public sector workers make up 14.8% of the list and include firefighters, medical professionals, teachers, police officers and local government workers - all of whom are being recognised for making a huge individual impact, and in particular in the response to COVID-19.
I'd like to particularly congratulate the honours recipients from Cumbria. these include:
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
John Michael Breon Margeson of Kirkby-in-Furness, for services to Mountain Rescue.
Eric Bell Robson of Wasdale, for services to Tourism.
Neil Jurd, a Cumbria-based former Sandhurst instructor, for his work with Army Cadets.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Ray Griffiths of Penrith, for services to Mountain Rescue.
Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM or British Empire Medal)
Paul Birkby of Barrow-in-Furness, for services to the community in Barrow-in-Furness, during the Covid-19 response.
Councillor John Kane of Whitehaven, a member of Copeland Borough Council, for services to people with Parkinson’s Disease in West Cumbria.
William Little of Carlisle, for services to the community in Baldwinhome, Cumbria.
Stuart Stokell of Brampton, for services to the community in Brampton, Cumbria.
Awards in the rest of the UK include an MBE to Special Chief Officer Mark Owen, who returned from retirement to lead the Special Constabulary’s response to COVID-19 in North Wales.
An MBE has been awarded to Karen McDowell for services to the LGBTQ community and fire service in Northern Ireland.
Charity Helpline Housing Adviser for Shelter Nadeem Khan receives a BEM - unable to return to the UK because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he worked from his personal laptop from a rooftop in Lahore, Pakistan delivering housing advice to over 500 people over three months via web chat to people over 5,000 miles away in the UK.
Included in the List are 123 (10%) health and social care workers - from British Red Cross Ambulance Crew to care home managers - all have played a part in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BEM has been awarded to Cath Fitzsimmons from Greater Manchester, a former palliative care nurse who came out of retirement for COVID-19.
Dr Azeem Alam, 28 years old from Harpenden, Hertfordshire receives the BEM for founding BiteMedicine, which provides free medical education for medical students, physician associates and aspiring doctors during COVID-19, teaching over 10,000 students worldwide via online, live webinars.
Deputy Director of Nursing Jacky Copping, 55 from Beccles, Suffolk, receives an MBE for initiating Face Fit Testing at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ensuring that frontline workers were properly protected against Covid-19.
This Honours List highlights how Britain’s business sector has stepped up to deliver for the country during COVID-19. From small business owners diverting their resources or changing business models to support the response effort to supermarket workers making sure all their vulnerable customers were stocked up with essential items - this Honours List showcases 111 recipients (9%) being recognised for services to business and the economy.
Publican Caroline Halfhide, aged 51 from Ash in Somerset receives MBE for changing her pub into a village shop for residents to drastically minimise the need for travel to nearby towns for food and essentials.
The founder and CEO of Pembrokeshire Frame, Jennifer Sims, 76 years old, receives the BEM for launching #Bagsofcare Community Fridge Free Bags Scheme, providing hot meals and free bags of food to the vulnerable, the elderly and those struggling financially due to the pandemic.
Captain Emma Henderson, living in Moray in Scotland receives an MBE for founding Project Wingman, creating a first class lounge experience in hospitals in the UK for NHS workers.
The oldest people on the list are Anne Baker from Salisbury in Wiltshire, who at 106 years old receives an MBE for fundraising for the NSPCC, and 104 year old Ruth Saunders, who ahs been awareded an MBE for walking a marathon to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
The youngest recipient is 20 year old Samah Khalil, the Youth Mayor of Oldham. She receives a BEM for her work in empowering young people.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
"In a year when so many have made sacrifices to protect our NHS and save people’s lives, the outstanding efforts of those receiving honours today are a welcome reminder of the strength of human spirit, and of what can be achieved through courage and compassion.
The 2021 New Year Honours offer us an opportunity to salute their dedication and recognise many who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to our country.
As we begin a new year and continue to come together to fight this virus, may their service and stories be an inspiration to us all."