The 2016 New Year’s Honour list has been released. Below are the pride of the north east who were selected for their great achievements and contributions to their field.
Andrew Wathey, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University, for services to higher education.
Professor Wathey has been Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University since 2008.
Under his leadership the University has more than doubled its research capacity, moving from 80th to 50th in research power ranking – the largest rise of any UK university.
Professor Wathey said: “I am very honoured to be recognised in this way, but this award is for the University as much as for me, and a real testament to the many successes that colleagues at Northumbria have achieved in recent years.”
Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, for political and public service.
Coun Henig is the leader of Durham County Council and has been chair of the North East Combined Authority since April 2014. He is also the chair of the Association of Labour Councillors.
In 1999, Coun Henig was first elected as a councillor in his home town of Chester-le-Street.
From 2001 to 2008, Coun Henig was the agent for North Durham CLP, and chair of the North East Regional Board. In 2007, he was runner-up to replace Tony Blair as Labour MP in Sedgefield.
Andrew Moffat, chief executive of the Port of Tyne, for services to the North East England economy and UK ports.
Andrew was appointed chief executive officer of the Port of Tyne in November 2008. An economics graduate from Newcastle University, he started his career as a trainee accountant with Northumbrian Water.
Andrew said: “I was very surprised and absolutely overwhelmed to receive the letter offering me this honour.
“It is a huge privilege and I believe it is recognition not for me but for the exceptional teams of people I have worked with over the years, all of whom have been open to ideas and willing to go the extra mile to achieve the best we could for the North East and the national economy.
“I am indebted to all of them. During my career I have been fortunate in having the opportunities to gain experience in a number of sectors, both nationally and internationally and consider myself very lucky in being able to return to the region several years ago and become chief executive of the Port of Tyne.
“I am passionate about the ports industry. How much they contribute to business and trade is often underestimated. We all have some challenges ahead and I will be continuing to make sure our ports remain top of the agenda in supporting this region’s manufacturers and businesses and helping ensure the North East benefits from the opportunities that will also arise.”
Christopher George Matthews-Maxwell, Belford, Northumberland, for services to the Voluntary Sector.
Bobby Paton, Managing director, Accenture (North East). For services to the Promotion of IT Skills and Apprenticeships.
Bob, who lives in Hexham, Northumberland, notes his passions as Sunderland Football Club and music, particularly mod icon Paul Weller.
Caroline Helen Theobald, founder and managing director, Bridge Club Ltd, for services to Business and Entrepreneurship.
Caroline lives in Corbridge, Northumberland.
Catherine Patricia Dyer, Crown Agent and chief executive, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, for services to Law and Order in Scotland.
Catherine lives in Durham.
Ian Gareth Dormer, formerly National chairman, Institute of Directors. For services to Business particularly in the North East.
Lives in Newcastle.
Daljit Lally, Northumberland County Council’s deputy chief executive, for her leadership and vision in integrating health and social care services to improve the lives of residents in Northumberland.
Daljit has been at the Council for nine years and during this time she has worked on integrating health and social care to ensure that patients have access to the best care possible.
She said: “I am really surprised and humbled to receive this honour. I know my parents, who are sadly no longer with us, would be so proud and I would like to accept it in their memory. They gave up so much for me, encouraged me in everything I did and were a source of inspiration.
“I have only been able to achieve what I have managed to achieve through the help and support of other people; including the hard work of all our frontline health and social staff who spend every day caring for and supporting the most vulnerable in our society. It’s the frontline staff I would like to thank for their tremendous work.”
Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive NewcastleGateshead Initiative, for services to the North East economy.
Sarah has led the organisation which markets the area nationally and internationally to attract visitors, conferences and events, and investment for the past six years.
She said: “This is a wonderful but completely unexpected surprise. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the work of the whole NewcastleGateshead Initiative team – it is a truly remarkable organisation and I am proud to lead such a dedicated and talented team of individuals, without whose hard work, creativity and dedication we could not have achieved such positive results for the region.”
John Riddle, former Northumberland National Park Authority chairman, for outstanding services to Northumberland National Park Authority.
John took on the role of chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority in June 2001 and served in this capacity with distinction for 14 years – the longest of any chairman of an English National Park.
He said: “I feel very privileged to accept this honour for my work in the community and with Northumberland National Park. We are all fortunate to work in this uniquely beautiful landscape and to have our efforts recognised is of course very gratifying. I would like to thank those who put their trust in me by allowing me to lead the Park Authority for so many years. 2016 sees the 60th anniversary of the creation of Northumberland National Park so this is a wonderful way to begin such a special year.”
Lesley Spuhler, chief executive of the Foundation of Light, for her services to charities in the northeast.
In a career spanning 20 years in the charity sector Lesley has been the leading light at a number of regional charities.
For the last 13 years she has led the award winning Foundation of Light – the official charity of Sunderland AFC.
Lesley said: “I am thrilled to receive this honour from Her Majesty The Queen as it recognises the valuable work we do in the community and the how charities such as the Foundation of Light can inspire people and really change lives.
“I am immensely grateful to the wonderful team of people at the Foundation who are so passionate about what we do and making difference every day.”
Nickie Gott, 49, Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, for services to women in business and female entrepreneurship in the North East.
Nickie founded She’s Gott It! in April 2002 and the company based on the Lambton estate is now renowned for creating exciting events internationally, including the recent Hitachi plant opening attended by the Prime Minister and Chancellor and the opening of the new Crowne Plaza Newcastle
Nickie said: “I was swept away with shock and gratitude when I opened the letter to see I had been recommended for this prestigious honour. Championing women to start and grow their own business is my big passion, so being nominated especially for my services to women into business is wonderful.”
Nickie has overcome numerous challenges in her life to become the success she is today, including failing all of her 8 O-levels at 16, being made redundant at 3 months’ pregnant with her first child, having a seriously ill second child and recovering from breast cancer and treatment in 2008.
Giselle Stewart, Ponteland, Northumberland, for services to the Computer Games Industry in the North East.
Stephen Groves, National head of Preparedness Resilience and Response, NHS England, for services to Public Health.
He lives in Corbridge, Northumberland.
Godfrey James Worsdale, Formerly director and chief executive, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, for services to Visual Arts in the North East.
Helen Mary Jones. Headteacher, Beacon Hill School and Business and Enterprise College, Tyne and Wear, for services to Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Steph Houghton, 27, England Women’s football captain, for services to football.
Durham-born Steph shot to fame in 2015, captaining her country to a World Cup semi-final in Canada. She has played more than 50 times for the national team, and also captains her club side Manchester City.
Steph’s career started at Sunderland, where she spent five years. She helped Sunderland to win promotion from the Northern Division in 2005–06 and then won the FA Young Player of the Year Award in 2006–07.
Dr Reginald Carr, 88, Blyth, for services to the community in Blyth, Northumberland.
Reginald has been involved in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) for the last 60 years.
He said: “I am delighted and very proud. It’s a nice honour. It’s unexpected, very unexpected.”
He joined the Blyth branch of the RNLI in 1953 as an unpaid medical officer and ten years later he became the honorary secretary, retaining the two posts until 2000 when he took up the position of chairman, a position he holds up to the present day.
Since 2011 he has continued his services both as an organist with Blyth United Reformed Church and at the Central Methodist Church.
He was recognised with the RNLI Gold Award in 1996.
This was followed by the RNLI gold bar and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal award which he received in 2008.
Since then he has been awarded the highest award in the RNLI, the Honorary Life Governor title for 64 years service to the Blyth Branch of RNLI.
Linda Conlon, 59, Darras Hall. Chief Executive, International Centre for Life, for services to Science and Science Education in North East England.
Linda is the Chief Executive of Newcastle’s £90m International Centre for Life.
The Centre is internationally unique, bringing together research, medicine, business, ethics and education on a single site in the heart of the city.
Linda said: “This is a delightful and unexpected accolade and I am incredibly proud to receive this honour not only for me, but for the Centre for Life and everyone involved with its success. It’s my birthday in a few days so this honour is a really wonderful present.”
Cyril Fox 81, Jesmond, for services to the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and charitable service.
For more than four decades, Cyril has given exemplary service to the Jewish community in Newcastle upon Tyne and across the country through his work with the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen (AJEX).
In 1988, he was Chairman of the Building Committee for the Synagogue which opened in the city.
For 25 years he has been Vice President of the Jewish Welfare Board, using his influence in these positions to help better the lives and resources available to the Jewish community in Newcastle.
Soon after joining AJEX, he was elected to the North East Branch Committee, before going on to become Branch Chairman and an elected representative on the National Executive Committee.
Sydney Howarth, 78, Newton Aycliffe, for services to the community in Newton Aycliffe.
Sydney has devoted himself to the community by being involved in just about every local organisation offering his help and advice.
He has served as a school governor at most of the schools in the area and is currently a governor at Aycliffe Village Primary.
He is currently Chair of the Great Aycliffe Residents Association that represents residents’ rights throughout the town and campaigns about local issues.
Being heavily involved in his community through many charitable and local organisations he has become well regarded, respected and a valued member and champion of the local community.
David Hughes, 90, Houghton-le-Spring, for services to charity.
David has devoted his life to raising funds for a number of charities.
His first book was intended only for his grandchildren and told of the social history of the co-operative societies in North East but was copied and used by the Beamish Museum for their archives.
Since then he has been tireless producing books, pamphlets and raising money for good causes and he is highly regarded not only in his native area of Durham but throughout the UK.
He said: “It’s wonderful. I told my son and daughter and they were thrilled.”
Stephen Miller, GB athlete, for services to sport.
The Northumberland Paralympian was selected as captain of the men’s athletics squad for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
The 35-year-old won several medals at the Cerebral Palsy World Championships in 2005, including gold in the F32 club and gold in the F32 discus.
Anthony Murray, 79, Wooler, for services to the community in Wooler and the County of Northumberland.
Anthony’s work with the Northumberland National Park began in 1972, and since then he has given 43 years of dedicated service.
During his time volunteering at the park, he has served as both Chair of its Development Management Committee and Deputy Chair of the Authority.
Throughout all his roles with the park, he has had the best interests of the local community at heart and has been selfless in his dedication to this cause.
His knowledge as a businessman has helped the park to develop and improve.
He currently serves as a Governor at Glendale Community Middle School.
Janice Pallas, 59, Ryton, Chair of NSPCC Fundraising Committee, for charitable services to Children and Families
Janice has worked selflessly for the NSPCC for over 20 years.
She has been a member of the Fundraising Committee since 1994 and Branch Chair since 2000.
More than £1m has been raised through her efforts in coordinating many successful events and activities, including dinner dances and race meetings at Newcastle Racecourse.
She is also a successful business woman with her own management company, but recently reduced her working hours so she can dedicate more time to her charity work.
In 2013 she began volunteering as an advisor for ChildLine in a school in a challenging area.
Lady Rose Crossman, Berwick, for voluntary service to maritime safety.
For 41 years, Lady Rose Crossman has been fundraising for the local RNLI lifeboat station and inspiring others to follow her lead.
She has done everything from abseiling down the walls of Bamburgh Castle to serving refreshments at fundraising events.
Lady Rose has been the driving force behind fundraising activities that have been successful despite the tough economic climate and she constantly looks for new and inventive ways to raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea.
Lady Rose is also a major benefactor on the island of Lindisfarne and has supported the wildlife centre for school children and the rebuilding of the town hall, which is named after her in recognition of her support.
Shaun Gettings, Formerly Prison Officer, HM Prison Frankland, for services to Prisoners.
He lives in Consett, County Durham.
John McCree Scott, Magistrate, Sunderland, for services to the Administration of Justice and to the Railway Community.
Anne Seymour, for services to Asylum Seekers and Refugees in South Tyneside.
Stephen Paul Humble, teaching Fellow in PGCE Maths, Newcastle University and Freelance Maths consultant, for services to Education.
Stephen lives in Newcastle.
Jane McClelland, Administrative Officer, High Net Worth Unit, Washington, HM Revenue and Customs, for services to Taxpayers and voluntary service to Cancer Awareness.
Barry Bullas, Newcastle, for services to Public Administration and charity.
Ann Walsh, 56, East Boldon, for charitable services particularly through Cancer Research UK.
She has worked tirelessly within her community to both raise important funds and also bringing together people from all walks of life within the regional community.
But her key achievement is as Chair of the Jarrow Relay for Life. From arranging fundraising events to stage the relay throughout the year, such as bag packs and race nights, she is involved in every detail of the relay to ensure of its continuing success.
She said: “It’s exciting stuff. I found out about six weeks ago and it’s been really hard not telling everyone! My husband knows but only because he opened the letter. It was official looking so I thought it was a speeding fine.
“My husband told me to sit down but it still didn’t register. It’s great news and I am really proud. It’s really good for the charity and the event. It’s our tenth run this year so it’s great timing.
“Hopefully it will raise the profile of the event and hopefully raise a bit more money.”
Kenneth Ball, 48, Consett, Station Manager, Consett Fire Station, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, for services to Fire and Rescue and the community in County Durham.
His inspirational leadership has transformed the Fire Station into a true community hub which not only helps keep people safe but has been used to improve the lives of local people. He has raised thousands of pounds for local charities, held Christmas parties for vulnerable groups and held a significant number of community engagement events.
He is a role model for other staff and is held in extremely high regard by partner organisations and the community.
Pauline Anne Donaldson 65, treasurer, Tyne and Wear ME/CFS Support Group, for services to People with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and their Carers.
She is an integral part of the Sunderland and South Tyneside ME/CFS Support Group and charity, which has 200 members.
Pauline has demonstrated remarkable commitment not only to the effective management of the support group, which has extremely limited funds, but also supports the community of ME and CFS sufferers in the North East and beyond.
She runs the charity’s help line and offers support, information and signposting to both new sufferers and people who are living with this debilitating illness long term.
Pauline has also been the driving force in a number of initiatives to inform and educate health professionals, support services, and the media.
Amelia Elaine Luffrum, 53, South Shields, for services to Homeless and Deprived People in South Tyneside.
She founded Hospitality and Hope in 2001 and has since been director and trustee member of the charity for over 14 years.
On February 3 2002 the first drop-in centre was opened.
From these small beginnings, a care and supply organisation was established and more homeless men and women of all ages in desperate need of food had somewhere to go.
Working with local churches, businesses, schools, support agencies and South Tyneside Council she increased the service for people in need by opening four drop-in centres for provision of hot meals, clothes, sleeping bags, shoes, food and toiletries.
In 2009 she established a food bank to provide emergency food parcels to vulnerable people in South Tyneside and in 2011 started the South Tyneside Food Bank, with plans to now expand the service to South Shields.
Dorothy Mitchinson, 82, North Shields, for services to community through the Linskill Community Centre.
This club has continued to run successfully for 25 years, but this was possible thanks to her intervention following North Tyneside Council’s decision to close and demolish the centre in 2004.
She spearheaded a campaign among local residents to save the centre, creating a petition and lobbying all those involved in making the decision to close the centre.
She was so determined to keep the centre open that she even offered her own house as collateral to keep the centre open.
It was through her genuine commitment and enthusiasm that the Council reversed its decision to demolish the centre later that year.
The centre has seen increased footfall year on year, with more than 4,000 people using the centre each month as of 2014.
John Warren, 72, Blyth, for services to the art of Wood Carving.
The letter-carving skills he learnt as an apprentice and his ability to design secret drawers and compartments are now much sought after.
After retiring, the opportunity to pass on his skills to others presented itself when Northumberland College invited him to establish an adult course in woodcarving at its Kirkley Hall campus.
This has now involved to the now independent Kirkley Hall carving group.
He is also passionate about the local community and encourages people to become street reps to help keep the community clean and tidy.
Mrs Marion Lockhart, Honorary Industrial secretary, Glendale Show, for services to the Glendale Show and the community in Wooler, Northumberland.
Maureen Elizabeth Dobbie, for services to the community in Teesdale County Durham.
Clive Hubery, Chair of Governors, The Oaks Secondary School, Spennymoor, County Durham, for services to Education.
Clive lives in Bishop Auckland.
Patricia Margaret Brown. For services to community through the Linskill Centre, Tyne and Wear, and the Scouting Movement.
Patricia lives in North Shields.