Congratulations to all the recipients of Honours in the New Year 2022 list. We are so very fortunate to have such inspirational people in the County and we thank all the recipients for the work they do in Kent and across the country, very well done to you all. The full Kent List for the New Years 2022 Honours is:
Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
• Professor Martin KNAPP. Director, NIHR School for Social Care Research and Professor, Health and Social Care Policy, London School of Economics. For Services to Social Care Research.
• Dr John STAGEMAN OBE. Chairman, LifeArc. For services to the Translation of Medical Research.
• Mrs Susie WARRAN-SMITH. Chair, Produced in Kent. For services to Small Businesses in the UK Food Industry.
• Colonel (Retd) Christopher ARGENT QVRM TD DL. Chair, United Kingdom Reserve Forces’ Association. For voluntary service to Reserve Forces in the UK and NATO.
• Mrs Julie BOUVERAT. For Political Service.
• Mr Anthony BRADDON. Philanthropist. For voluntary and charitable services to Homeless People and Underprivileged Children in London and the South East
• Dr Elizabeth BREEZE. Director, Centre for Philanthropy and Director, University of Kent. For services to Philanthropic Research and Fundraising.
• Ms Julie FOLEY. Director, Flood Risk Management Strategy and National Adaptation, Environment Agency. For services to Managing Flood Risk.
• Mr Jonathan SESNAN. Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Greenwich Leisure Ltd. For services to the UK Leisure Industry, particularly during Covid-19
• Mrs Morenike AJAYI. Founder, Career Nuggets. For services to Race Equality and Inclusion
• Mr Antoine-Philippe BOO. First Secretary Migration and Borders, British Embassy Paris. For services to UK Border Security
• Mr Thomas COOKSON. Chairman, Physics Partners, Kent. For services to Education.
• Mrs Barbara COOPER. Corporate Director Growth, Environment and Transport, Kent County Council. For services to Transport and to the Covid-19 Response.
• Mr Kevin DICKENS. Director of Resources, The Abbey School, Faversham, Kent. For services to Education.
• Mrs Tracy LUKE. Chair of Governors, Turner Free School, Folkestone, Kent. For services to Education.
• Mr George MARCAR. Driver Policy Implementation Manager, Transport for London. For services to Transport in London.
• Mrs Carol MOODY. Foster Carer, Kent. For services to Foster Care.
• Mr Derek MOODY. Foster Carer, Kent. For services to Foster Care.
• Dr Robert PERKS. Lead Curator, Oral History and Director of National Life Stories, British Library. For services to Libraries, to the National Archives and to Oral History, particularly during Covid-19.
• Ms Hilary PERRIN. Lately Director, Regional Organisation, The Labour Party. For Political Service.
• Mrs Yvonne ROGAN. Policy Adviser, Public Bodies Team, Cabinet Office. For services to Diversity and Inclusion.
• Mr Jeremy ROOK. Head, Business Assurance, H.M. Prison Elmley. For services to Reducing Reoffending.
• Mr David SHARP. For services to Broadcasting and to Education.
• Mr Wayne SMITH. For services to People with Mental Health Issues and the community in Dover, Kent
• Mr Martyn STYLES. For services to Junior and Youth Sailing.
• Mrs Liesje ATHWAL. For services to the community in Tonbridge, Kent, particularly during Covid-19
• Mrs Eliza ECCLESTONE. For services to the community in Sevenoaks, Kent during Covid-19.
• Mrs Claire RITCHIE. For services to the community in Sevenoaks, Kent, particularly during Covid-19.
• Mrs Kelly SHORT. Co-Lead, Cancer Support Network, Environment Agency. For services to People Affected by Cancer.
• Dr Darren SMART. For services to Public Libraries.
• Miss Pamela TOLHURST. For services to the community in Gillingham, Kent
Pamela Tolhurst BEM receives the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Gillingham, Kent. She has served in an unpaid capacity as the Pastor/Local Church Leader of Gillingham United Reformed Church in the Medway area of North Kent since 2004. Under her leadership, the church’s contacts with the local community have grown. In particular, she has helped the church change from being an ethnically white church to one that fully embraces worshippers from many ethnicities, thus reflecting much more fully the community context. The North Gillingham Church Leaders Fellowship meets every six to eight weeks to encourage and help the local churches work together more effectively, and be active together in the community. As well as this role she is also the Lay Leader at the Gillingham United Reformed Church, enabling the church to play a full part in the life of the community. Since her time at Gillingham URC, she has formed close ties with the local club for people who are deaf and/or blind visiting and carrying out services of worship. She visits care homes on a regular basis and again leads the residents in worship. She has become unpaid Chaplain to the Shrubbery and Kent Resettlement (which is under the umbrella of Langley House Trust), which is a national charity for ex-offenders or those who are likely to offend both male and female and she gives unbelievable support to the residents and staff alike. Recently, she has become a Secretary on the executive of the Churches Together in Medway, which is an umbrella organisation for all the Christian churches in the unitary authority of Medway.
Liesje Athwal BEM receives her British Empire Medal for services to the community in Tonbridge particularly during Covid-19. She independently created a programme named ‘FEAST- Families Eating and Sharing Together’. She organised volunteers, collected donations and groceries from the church and local organisations and contacted local families to advertise the initiative. The programme meant that once a week during the school holidays, families could come to a local church and have a free healthy meal. She expanded FEAST by contacting other local churches to join the programme. Eventually, families were able to have a free meal everyday during the holidays at different local venues within Tonbridge. When COVID-19 hit, she adapted the scheme and set up a food bank and delivered food weekly to at least 60 of FEAST’s families. During the pandemic, she identified struggling families who had not been in contact with the programme due to isolation and fear. She handmade and delivered 120 portions of Shepherd’s Pie for these families. As the lockdown eased, the foodbank developed into a food larder. Families could pay £2 and shop for food that supermarkets, such as M&S and Asda, would usually throw away. FEAST has now opened two food larders with plans for a third to open in the future.
Jeremy Rook MBE receives his MBE for services to Reducing Reoffending. He is an ambassador both for HM Prison and Probation Service and the prisoners in his care, having set up with others numerous creative initiatives to maximise prisoners’ rehabilitation prior to and after release, reducing reoffending. He spearheaded an innovative project between Canterbury College and HMP Standford Hill to provide technical training on computer networking. This included the creation of a new satellite site located outside the prison, which offered courses both to serving prisoners and to the local community. As a result of this project, over 200 prisoners were successful in gaining IT qualifications, the college received an Adult Learner Award and the collaboration was shortlisted for a Times Educational Supplement Award. He then persuaded the college to expand the project to include plumbing and electricians’ courses, funded through a ground-breaking loan scheme which he brokered. Through this project the college now offers up to Level 4 qualifications and awards approximately 650 technical qualifications each year. He created an Offender Training Programme in conjunction with a local training provider, focusing on prisoners at particular risk of reoffending on release. In its first year, the project enabled 43 men to be offered training that led to permanent full-time employment on release. He was involved in setting up and is a board member of the Kent Rapid Rehousing Pathway Project (now called Preventing Rough Sleeping after Custody), facilitating joint working with local authorities and housing services across Kent. This included the creation of Prison Navigator roles within Kent prisons, working directly with prisoners prior to release.
Kevin Dickens MBE receives his MBE for services to Education. For 39 years he has been a role model in each of his posts at The Abbey School, and has recently been recognised by a certificate for Lifetime Achievement from the Pearson National Teaching Awards. Starting out as a music teacher, he was soon to become the school SEN coordinator where he showed a deep understanding of pupils’ diverse needs and a desire to ensure all can reach their potential. His inspiring teaching, differentiated care and pastoral support for the relatively high proportion of SEN pupils at the school is cited by pupils, teachers and parents. As Deputy Headteacher, he was the Chief Financial Officer responsible for managing the school budget, leading a £4.6 million construction project to develop the school site and directed the technical side of the school’s conversion to academy status. He has also provided exceptional support mentoring NQTs as well as new members of the governing body and it is during his time as deputy teacher, the school received Good Ofsted reports. Whilst the headteacher isolated, he led the school during the first weeks of uncertainty, taking on extra leadership and welfare roles; maintaining strong communication links with pupils, staff and the local authority. For 350 children reliant on free school meals, he personally purchased and delivered supermarket vouchers before the Edenred system went live. Once live, he worked night and day to help eligible families navigate the system, even printing and posting the vouchers for families lacking the necessary means. He swiftly produced provisional education plans and staffing rotas to ensure education for SEN pupils and key-worker pupils continued, as well as the wider site changes needed to provide new washing and hygiene facilities. He semi-retired in late 2020 but continues to work with the school senior leadership team and is heavily involved in the development of a new performing arts theatre and studio. He sees this as the final project he needs to complete before he can fully retire. He also continues to mentor a number of GCSE maths pupils whose learning was disrupted by the pandemic.
David Sharp MBE receives his MBE for services to Broadcasting and to Education. He is the Station Manager of Academy FM Folkestone, an educational charity and community radio station which runs from a school. Many of the pupils are involved in writing, broadcasting and presenting programmes. Alongside the radio station, he previously ran a free online magazine with up to-date community news. Despite being dependent on charitable funding and with minimal staff, the station and charity have delivered award-winning work. During lockdown, he kept the station running, initially working long hours from home, to disseminate relevant news through his Virus Update Daily Podcast to the wider community. He promotes the education of young people and works with typically over 1,000 pupils every year involving them in projects about employability, science, the arts and literacy as well as the all-important skill of broadcasting. During Lockdown, he quickly recognised the vulnerability of some disadvantaged pupils and developed specific engagement programmes to boost their confidence and self-esteem and keep them motivated during the challenging times.
Rob Perks MBE receives his MBE for services to Libraries, National Archives and Oral History, particularly during the Covid-19 Pandemic. He displayed leadership in the formation and delivery of a multi-format collecting programme to archive the national experience of Covid-19. His team routinely gathers oral testimony on key research themes to be archived for future use by researchers. Over the past two years, this has included a project working with the University of Manchester to archive over 2,000 interviews with NHS patients, professionals and policymakers to capture their experiences at an unprecedented moment in the history of the NHS. The programme is archiving a large sample of broadcasts from television and radio (including Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), as well as major UK televised news, specials, and world coverage of the pandemic. The programme also includes UK Web Archiving, with over 6,500 identified target sites about Covid-19, collections of literary and creative audio and visual performances, and research outputs such as a project about children’s experience of play during lockdown. The programme is continuing to collect and add to this new research collection, which will play a major role in supporting society to understand and draw insight from the experience of this pandemic. He has been a committed public servant for over 33 years and a leading figure in UK sound heritage and oral history since becoming Lead Curator of Oral History at the British Library in 1988. Since 1996, he has also been Director of National Life Stories and has made an immeasurable contribution including coordinating the Library’s archiving partnership with BBC Radio for the Millennium Memory Bank and Radio 4’s ‘The Listening Project’. He also sits on the project board for the Library’s national audio digitisation initiative ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’. His wider contribution extends beyond the Library as he has acted as an Advisor to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Centre for Life History Research at the University of Sussex, and oral history projects and organisations all over the world. He is Secretary and Editor of the Oral History Society and has previously served as a Council Member of the International Oral History Association, as a Board member of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council South East, and as Visiting Professor at the University of Huddersfield between 2008-11.
Thomas Cookson MBE receives his MBE for services to Education. He, having served 13 years in education, retired from Head of King Edward VI school to start his own education charity. The charity, which focused on by helping teachers and technicians, to enable more pupils with scientific aptitude to achieve their potential initially, later became Physics Partners which specialised in Physics Partners hubs, where groups of schools can share resources and benefit from specialist training and mentoring. In 2007 he set up an educational charity called S3 (success in short subjects). In 2015 this became ‘Physics Partners.’ As the charity’s work expanded, he filled the role of unpaid chief executive until 2019. He remains as Chairman of the charity. He led Physics Partners to expand from supporting 10 schools to 140 in a decade. He shaped the charity Physics Partners (PP) and developed it to provide support to teachers to ensure high quality teaching of STEM subjects with very limited funding. He created the Physics Partners website to help teachers plan practical physics lessons. He designed a training programme using experienced, successful ex heads of physics to train others and to support growth and confidence in physics teachers. This programme is free of charge to schools. Training is now operated from eight regional hubs covering all areas of England. He galvanised the Girls Schools Association to support the programme for persuading more girls in state schools to study A level physics and to date 67 schools have taken part.
Martyn Styles MBE receives his MBE for services to Junior and Youth Sailing. He has devoted all of his spare time to teaching, coaching and organising sailing at the Downs Sailing Club, Walmer, throughout Kent with the Kent Schools Sailing Association (KSSA) and at national level with the National School Sailing Association (NSSA). He started and organised the start of Kent Schools youth race training. He ran Centres of Excellence at Bewl Valley Sailing Club, Kent. These Centres of Excellence were held over five weekends from October to March. There would be up to 45 dinghy sailors between the ages of 8 and 19 attending each time. He developed this into a Hi-Flyers Programme and for many years, with a group of like-minded individuals he took groups of aspiring dinghy racers to the National Sailing Centre on the Isle of Wight for a week’s training. This he later developed into a national Hi-Flyers Programme for the National Schools Sailing Association (NSSA). These training programmes were the precursor of today’s Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Youth Programme. He has held every leadership role in the National School Sailing Association (NSSA), the Kent Schools Sailing Association (KSSA) and the Downs Sailing Club. As a result of his inspirational coaching the Kent Schools Sailing Team has had notable success; they regularly win or finish in the top three counties out of 20 or more county teams.