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THE HEAD of the country’s largest centre for vulnerable women, an Imam who opened up his mosque to tackle Islamophobia after the 7/7 terrorist attacks and a volunteer who has given more than 50 years’ service to promoting sport in her community are among those honoured in Yorkshire today.

There is also recognition for a long serving councillor, fund-raisers, a school governor and a dinner lady in the region.

Qari Muhammad Asim, the Imam at the Leeds Makkah Mosque, has become an MBE for his services to inter-faith relations and the community in his home city.

After the suicide bomb attacks in London on July 7 2005 he was the first Imam in the city to hold an open day at his mosque in an attempt to prevent both extremism and Islamophobia.

The 34-year-old also works as a solicitor and is a religious adviser to schools. He is also an executive member of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board and chairman of the organisation’s youth committee.

Clare Jones, the deputy director and joint chief executive of WomenCentre has become a CBE for services to vulnerable women in West Yorkshire.

She has helped to grow the charity which has almost 50 years’ experience supporting vulnerable women. Previously she had done social work but moved to the voluntary sector to work in drug rehabilitation, women’s homelessnees and working with victims of domestic violence.

She is one of two recipients of the CBE in the region along with Michael Baker, from North Yorkshire, for his work as head of the Benefits Centre for the Department for Work and Pensions.

WomenCentre has outreach services for women in Calderdale and Kirklees and works with more than 4,000 women a year.

Joan Rycroft, 82, from Leeds, becomes an MBE for services to sport in Yorkshire over more than half a century

She has worked with the Sports Aid Yorkshire and Humberside charity as a volunteer for the past 35 years, since its inception, supporting the grass roots development of talented young sports people from Yorkshire to fulfil their potential.

Last month councillor Judith Elliott was paying tribute to the people of Morley, Leeds, for supporting her during her second term as mayor of the town. Now she is being recognised for her services to Morley having become an MBE.

Carole Eaton, 57, who has served as a school governor in Sheffield for more than two decades both at a primary and secondary school, is also an MBE.

Mrs Eaton, of Stannington, Sheffield, started as a governor, alongside her work at a city tool and knife manufacturing firm, when her children, who are now aged 30 and 26, started at Sheffield’s Shooters Grove primary school.

She said she and her husband Alan were amazed and delighted when she heard about her nomination for the MBE and added: “When I opened the letter I had to have a sit down. It’s great to be recognised like this.”

Michelle France, 54, is among those receiving a British Empire Medal in this year’s list for her work both as a long-serving member of Sheffield Hallam University’s catering staff and her fundraising efforts for cancer patients at the city’s Hallamshire Hospital.

Mrs France, of Waterthorpe, Sheffield, has raised more than £70,000 along with her sister-in-law Barbara France and friend Sharon Beresford, after suffering with breast cancer.

She said: “I am accepting this award on behalf of all three of us, because we are a team. We have raised the money holding 1970s themed nights at the university for 12 years and each year it just gets bigger and better.”

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