Queen's honours recipients' delight and surprise at awards recognition for shaping communities across Yorkshire
Among those recognised today in the Queen’s Birthday Honours are experts, charitable leaders, campaigners and an army of town and village volunteers.
Roger Marsh, pictured, the Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Chair of NP11, which features the 11 heads of the LEPs in the North of England, is to be knighted by the Queen.
He is hailed as having made a significant difference to economic growth across the North. Mr Marsh is credited with paving the way for devolution, as a driving force behind campaigns to bring Channel 4 to Leeds, and in the regeneration of Halifax’s magnificent Piece Hall.
Privileged and humbled, he said he hopes to see this not as a personal achievement but as an opportunity to change narratives and to champion the North as a key component of global Britain.
“Maybe this will be a signal, beyond just me, but of the importance of our part of the world and what we’ve been doing,” he said. “There are huge examples of success.
“For me, the biggest privilege is being able to be constructive, I hope, as well as campaigning and advocating. Good growth looks like good lives for everybody.”
Former Labour MP for Wakefield Mary Creagh, who lost her seat in 2019, said she was “honoured and surprised” to be made a CBE for her services to politics.
She said: “This honour is for the people of Wakefield and all those who have so generously shared their time and talents with me.”
Ilkley’s Anne Longfield, children’s commissioner for England until earlier this year, said it was a “great and a fantastic honour” to have been made a CBE, which she is “really proud” of.
"Clearly the last year has been a hugely significant year for children and young people in how they try to cope with Covid,” she said, pledging to continue to advocate for children.
In Bradford, Robert Mitchell has been made an MBE for services to social work, as a voice for older people and those with disabilities, transforming practice and shaping services.
In Barnsley, Margaret Stubbs, a Scout leader and school governor, is awarded an MBE for services to diversity and inclusion in the NHS.
Having left her Jamaican home as a teenager, she has dedicated herself to 50 years in NHS nursing, championing gender equality and supporting survivors of violence and exploitation.
In York, Barbara Swinn is awarded the BEM for library services, driving inclusive access, engaging communities and overseeing archives covering 800 years of the city’s history.
Frances Elliot, meanwhile, chief executive of Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA) is to be made an MBE for services to the community during the pandemic as the charity doubled its support.
Ms Elliot, who said she was “extremely touched”, has honoured the legions of people who have committed time and effort to make a difference.
She said: “I feel privileged to play a part in such a caring, responsive community.”