New Year’s Honours awarded to deserving Essex residents
PUBLISHED: 22:30 30 December 2015 | UPDATED: 22:39 30 December 2015
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Police officers, university staff and Colchester-born Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame are among Essex community heroes recognised in the New Year’s Honours list for 2016.
A Manningtree man who has dedicated decades of his life to the community is among those who has had his hard work recognised in Essex with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
Brian Rolfe, 80, was instrumental in setting up the Tendring and Colchester Crossroads Care for Carers group in 1997, which now raises over £500,000 and provides 30,000 hours of care each year.
He was also chairman of Lawford Parish Council for more than 20 years, and remains a councillor, set up a young carers club in Clacton, launched Lawford Football Club, which is now one of the largest clubs in Tendring, is a governor at Manningtree High School and chairman of the Beach Hut Owners Association of Walton-on-the-Naze.
He said: “I have always worked on the basis that if you get involved in something you try to make it better than when you started and I think in most of these I have. I’m honoured to receive an honour.”
A champion for disability equality at the University of Essex, Rowena MacAuley, has been made an MBE for services to higher education.
Ms MacAuley works as a student support officer in the sociology department, and has made great efforts to improve access to university buildings and services for disabled students and visitors.
She also founded the Essex Access Forum eight years ago, which she has chaired ever since, and co-founded the Walk Colchester group which aims to improve access to walking routes for those with disabilities.
Nathan Munson, of Colchester, has been made an MBE for his services to counter-terrorism in his role as Detective Sergeant Hazardous Substances Industry Engagement Officer for the Home Office.
He said: “I am truly humbled and incredibly proud to receive this honour. This award is the result of a great deal of hard work from a much broader group of people.
“I would particularly like to extend my thanks to Essex Police for their continued support, my friends and colleagues at the Home Office for the opportunities and development, and most importantly my family for their understanding during the many short notice duty changes and long periods spent away from home.”
University of Essex treasurer Celia Edey, also deputy chairman of the board of University Campus Suffolk, has been awarded the OBE for services to higher education in Suffolk and Essex. She has been a key player in UCS’s plans to become an independent university.
Carol Nice, founder of Stepping Stones Play and Learn Group in Colchester, has also been named for her services to children with special needs and disabilities.
Laura Wood, of Witham, has been made an MBE for services to the community in Chelmsford.
Also on the list is Colchester-born composer, singer-songwriter and musician Damon Albarn, a former Stanway School pupil, for services to music, and Essex snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan, for services to the sport.
David Blackiston, of Harwich and formerly Grade 7 in corporate services for the Home Office, was also made an MBE for services to major incident administration.
Among those in the military recognised in the honours list is Lieutenant Colonel Mike Shervington, commanding officer of 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) based at Colchester Garrison, who was awarded an OBE.
Lt Col Shervington served with both 2 and 3 PARA and has completed tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, taking over command of 3 PARA in September 2012.
Lt Col Shervington, a keen marathon runner, is married to Elizabeth and they have a daughter, Eleanor.
Also recognised in the honours is Lorraine King, deputy clerk to the Lieutenancy of Essex – the Lord Lieutenant represents the Queen in Essex – who was made a member of the Royal Victorian Order.
Brian O’Neill has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his role as co-chairman of the of the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Past and Present Members Association.