Extraordinary efforts of Yorkshire's champions recognised in King's Birthday Honours

Incredible awards gift a moment of honour to those who shape the very backbone of Yorkshire's contribution to society and in charitable endeavours.

Across the arts, heritage, sporting excellence and education there is recognition for those who go above and beyond to inspire and make change for a brighter future for all.

And in Yorkshire's rural economies - from farming to fisheries and housing - there are nods to those working behind the scenes to preserve and protect and advance critical industry.

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In this list, the King's first Birthday Honours, there are knighthoods and new dames, alongside people working every day, in small steps, to do good.

Nicky Chance-Thompson, DL Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust.Nicky Chance-Thompson, DL Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust.
Nicky Chance-Thompson, DL Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust.

Nicky Chance-Thompson, chief executive of Halifax's Piece Hall Trust and often credited with driving its transformation and success, is made an MBE for services to culture and heritage.

Geoffrey Brown, a hugely respected figure within Yorkshire's farming sector and as director of Ripon Farm Services, is also made an MBE for services to the rural economy.

And in West Yorkshire, Suzanne Rappaport-Ripton, who is 86-years-old, is awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Holocaust Education and Remembrance.

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Ms Rappaport-Ripton speaks widely, with thousands of schoolchildren, about her traumatic experience as a hidden child in the Holocaust in France, challenging racism and prejudice.

"Every message counts," she said. "If a lot of people do a little bit, you end up with a lot. My little contribution, it adds to that."

Of the recognition, she added: "It's something you just don't ever think you will have. It's made me very proud. It's just lovely."

In York, Barrie Chisholm Deas is recognised with a CBE for his contribution to the fishing industry as chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations.

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And in Bradford, director of Windrush Generations UK Nigel S Guy is made an MBE for services to the Windrush generation, fighting to 'raise the standard' in all forms of life.

Recipients are sworn to secrecy, and Mr Guy was last night anticipating his children's reaction. Family is everything, he said, and he credits his own parents, elders and siblings, for instilling a drive and will to make change happen for good.

"I'm astounded, just taken aback," he said. "That people would recognise my little efforts."

Nobody sets out looking for "glorious recognition", he reflected, it's just lots of people "rolling their sleeves up and getting on".

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"There are so many people helping to bring about solutions," he said. "It's not just what I'm doing, its the teams and volunteers and the Windrush generation - this is dedicated to them.

"It's not going to change me," he added with a laugh. "Have I got space for some letters after my name?"

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