In one of the toughest years in memory, it’s been more important than ever to celebrate those who have gone above and beyond in 2020.
The New Year’s honours list for this year has been revealed, and many hard working people from all walks of life across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are included.
Former Leicester Tigers player Matt Hampson has been awarded an OBE for his services to charity.
While Dr Harold Moore, chairman of Rainbows hospice in Loughborough has been given an MBE for his services to young people and charity.
Other recipients of honours include a nurse, a dance company founder, and the chair of a foodbank. Here’s the run down.
Matt Hampson OBE
The former Leicester Tigers player, who was paralysed from the neck down after a training accident with the England Under 21s side, has been recognised with an OBE.
Matt, who says he tries to live as normal a life as possible himself, started the Matt Hampson foundation to provide advice, support, and treatment for anyone suffering serious injury or disability.
The charity’s ‘Get Busy Living’ centre – named after Matt’s ethos after his accident – sits in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside in Burrough-on-the-Hill near Melton and aims to provide a supportive environment for severely injured people to rebuild their lives
Matt’s OBE is for voluntary and charitable services.
Dr Harold Moore OBE
Harold Moore, knows as Harry, founded Rainbows Hospice with his wife Gail in 1994 after the couple tragically ost their daughter Laura to leukaemia in 1989.
The hospice, which is still the only one dedicated to treating children across the East Midlands, was named because Laura saw a full rainbow shortly after the family had been told she only had a few weeks left to live.
Harry and Gail also founded the charity COPE to build a children’s cancer unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and The Laura Centre, which is a bereavement counseling service for those affected by the death of a child and for bereaved children.
Harry Moore also wrote of his experiences in one of his books A Lark Ascending.
His MBE is for services to Young People and to Charity in Leicester.
Asha Rani Day BEM
Asha Rani Day has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the NHS and to minority ethnic equality during the Covid-19 Response.
The 58-year-old nurse, from Fleckney, is a chair of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trusts Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network.
She played a huge role in facilitating and pushing the Trust to be one of the first in England to create a Covid-19 risk assessment, before it was recommended by national policy guidance.
Asha said: “It’s come as a surprise, as of course I didn’t know it was happening.
“I feel quite privileged, but I just did what anybody else would have done. I have stepped up and worked a bit harder, but everybody in the NHS has done this year.”
She also said that she felt very privileged to have received the award, but at first thought it was a hoax.
She added: “I felt honoured, and had to pinch myself a bit.
“This kind of thing doesn’t normally happen to ordinary people.
She added: “I have never worked so hard in my life, my husband has said that even though I’m working from home, he sees me more when I’m in the office.”
She also introduced another Covid-19 initiative – supportive sessions for BAME staff which are accessed daily by staff.
She co-designed the Race & Cultural Awareness training package for the Trust and is currently working on psychological support for BAME staff and BAME groups using her knowledge in trauma informed care.
She is the only BAME, vice chair of the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA).
The membership and Executive Committee ‘look to her as a role model and for support on all issues of equality’.
Anand Bhatt BEM
Anand Bhatt, from Leicester, is the co-founder of the Aakash Odedra Company and has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to dance and to the community in Leicester.
The 40-year-old founded the community organisation in Belgrave Road, to provide opportunities for children, young people and adults from South Asian backgrounds to learn to dance, perform and ‘be inspired’.
Now, there are community classes taking place in the city and beyond, and attract more than 1,000 people a week.
Anand told LeicestershireLive: “It is such a delight to get this at this stage of my career.
“It feels like a real confidence boost.”
Much like Asha, when Anand got the email, he thought it was a fake.
He said: “I thought is a spam email, and I was checking it out for credentials, and wondering if these people were for real.
“I was completely dumbfounded.”
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Anand said that 2020 has been a real challenge, and his organisation has been dealing with Covid-19 since January, as they had been working with a Chinese artist, and due to the initial outbreak in China, they were left ‘on their own’.
He said: “We escaped by the skin of our teeth, because we opened a show in Australia at the beginning of March, and only got back to the UK on March 10 – about a week before lockdown.
“It’s been tough for the whole industry, as we never anticipated this would last for this long, all of the dance studios are closed.
“Fortunately, the saving grace has been online streaming, so we can still interact with people.”
Liz Mills MBE
Liz Mills has been awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for services to the community in Market Harborough, particularly during the Covid-19 Response.
The 45-year-old from Glen Parva is the chair of the Jubilee Foodbank in Market Harborough and has been ‘instrumental in ensuring the safe and efficient continuation of its work during the Covid-19 crisis’.
She said: “It feels a little bit surreal.
“I am one of lots of people who have been helping out during the pandemic, and it has been a very tough year.
“It feels good to have been recognised, as I have put in a lot of effort.”
Liz, who also works as a secondary school teacher four days a week, said that her three free days a week have been dedicated to the foodbank.
She said: “Just before the first lockdown happening, we saw a huge increase in demand for food, and then even more during the lockdown.
“It wasn’t just people who needed food for lack of money, but also people who were self-isolating and couldn’t get to the shops.”
In order to keep the bank going safely Liz researched, devised and implemented safe systems of work for volunteers alongside her team and ensured the availability of all necessary PPE equipment.
She has taken responsibility for training and supporting new volunteers in many varied and necessary roles, often outside business hours.
When Liz got the email to say she had been awarded the MBE, she said she too ‘had to check it was genuine’.
She added: “I was a bit overwhelmed, and I am still am.
“It’s nice to be recognised for what you do outside of your day job.”
The full list of everyone from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who has been recognised in the New Year’s honours is below:
Fayyaz Afzal. Circuit Judge, England and Wales. CBE for services to the Judiciary and to Diversity and Inclusion.
Janet Arthur, 65, from Smeeton Westerby. MBE for services to the community in Smeeton Westerby.
Sandra Marilyn Barnett-Pollock. Director, Open Mind Training and Development. OBE fr services to Equality.
Lisa Capper, 54, from Bushby, lately chair of National Deaf Children’s Society. MBE For services to young people.
Neil Edward Michael Thomas. Governor, H.M. Prison Stocken. OBE for services to HM Prison and Probation Service, particularly during the Covid-19 Response.
Joanna Angelina Helen Snow. Matron, Intensive Care Unit, Kettering General Hospital. MBE for services to the NHS and Patients, particularly during the Covid-19 Response.
Maya Joshi. BEM for services to the Vulnerable in Leicestershire.
Paul Hebborn. British Red Cross Staff Member and volunteer. BEM for services to the Vulnerable in Northamptonshire during the Covid-19 Response.
Liz Mills, 45, from Glen Parva. MBE for services to the community in Market Harborough, particularly during the Covid-19 Response.
John Perry. Band Leader, 1st Ibstock Scout Band. BEM for services to Scouting in Leicestershire.
Anjuu Trevedi, 58, from Leicester, head of regional business engagement, University of Leicester. MBE for services to business innovation and to the economy in Leicestershire.
Glynis Wright, 57, from Melton, founder and head of practice, Glynis Wright Ltd Solicitors. MBE for services to female entrepreneurship.
Anand Bhatt, 40, from Leicester, co-founder of the Aakash Odedra Company. BEM for services to dance and to the community in Leicester.
Aakash Odedra, 36, from Leicester, co-founder of the Aakash Odedra Company. BEM for services to dance and to the community in Leicester.
Jacqui Darlington, 60, Oakham. BEM for services to the community in Rutland.
Asha Rani Day, 58, from Fleckney, nurse, health visitor and clinical team leader at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. BEM for services to the NHS and to minority ethnic equality during the Covid-19 Response.
Yasin Matthew Ross El Ashrafi, 40, from Leicester, founder of HQ Recording Studio, Leicester. BEM for services to young people, to music and to mentoring.
Joyce Harris, 87, from Loughborough. BEM for community and voluntary services to cats in Loughborough.
Syedur Rahman, 50, from Leicester. BEM for services to charity in Leicester.
Luci Weir, 55, from Leicester, team leader at Change Grow Live, Peterborough. BEM for services to vulnerable Women.