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Suffolk’s community heroes celebrated in Queen’s Birthday Honours

PUBLISHED: 08:08 10 October 2020

Chief executive of Suffolk Community Foundation Stephen Singleton has been made an MBE Picture: SLYVAINE POITAU PHOTOGRAPHY/ SUFFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Chief executive of Suffolk Community Foundation Stephen Singleton has been made an MBE Picture: SLYVAINE POITAU PHOTOGRAPHY/ SUFFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

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Charity workers and community heroes have been rewarded for their contributions to life in Suffolk.

Bob Feltwell has received a BEM for his contributions to the Bentley community. Picture: ARCHANTBob Feltwell has received a BEM for his contributions to the Bentley community. Picture: ARCHANT

From inspirational nurses to anti-knife crime advocates, these community stalwarts have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020.

The list had been delayed from its usual release date in June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, a number of people from Suffolk have now been rewarded for their efforts.

Stephen Singleton, Chief Executive of Suffolk Community Foundation has been awarded with an MBE for services to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grenville Clarke with his wife Elizabeth has been recognised with a BEM for services to the environment and the community Picture: CLARKE FAMILYGrenville Clarke with his wife Elizabeth has been recognised with a BEM for services to the environment and the community Picture: CLARKE FAMILY

During the lockdown the group, led by Mr Singleton, helped raise over £1.7m to support over 350 local charities and community groups with their projects reaching over 167,000 direct beneficiaries in Suffolk.

Mr Singleton said: “I am absolutely thrilled but humbled to have been given such an honour at such a challenging time for our communities.

“I would like to share this award with my colleagues at Suffolk Community Foundation who have given their all to help the most vulnerable in our society, particularly during the covid-19 emergency.

“This is for them too, a truly dedicated and exceptional team.

Sergeant Instructor Lesley Utting has  received a BEM. Picture: ARCHANTSergeant Instructor Lesley Utting has received a BEM. Picture: ARCHANT

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the vital contribution made by our local charities, community groups and the many volunteers who give so much of their time to help others.

“It really helps to make this wonderful county special.”

In a message to all of the recipients on the honours list, Her Majesty’s Lord lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston praised their “inspiring” work.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted that so many outstanding Suffolk citizens have been singled out in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Dr Lynne Wigens has been made an OBE. Picture: MICHAEL AUSTENDr Lynne Wigens has been made an OBE. Picture: MICHAEL AUSTEN

“In these difficult times it is very inspiring to be reminded of how many special people there are in this wonderful County of ours.

“In the midst of all the sadness and anxiety people have come forward and answered the challenge. They have been a ray of light in the darkness.”

Academic excellence has also been recognised by the awards.

Gillian Schofield, Professor of Child and Family Social Work at UEA has been awarded with an OBE due to her services to children and families.

The Bury St Edmunds resident has led the field of long-term foster care in the past 15 years and also created the Secure Base model, a framework for caregiving in foster care and adoption recognised by the Department of Education.

“It all feels very unreal,” she said.

“I’m really pleased for the recognition of my work into foster care and also for the university and the school of social work.

“I’ve been at UEA for 30 years so it’s a nice culmination of all my work.

“All my family and friends and colleagues will be absolutely thrilled.”

Another on the long list of contributors is Grenville Clarke, who has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the environment and the community in Suffolk.

Within a long list of achievements, Mr Clarke established 62 community woodlands with the Green Light Trust, a charity which uses nature to help people who are marginalised and disadvantaged.

He also played a pivotal role in enhancing the natural landscape of Suffolk through his 22 year involvement with Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT).

Mr Clarke now sadly suffers from Motor neurone disease however his wife, Elizabeth said he is “very proud” of the work he has carried out in the community.

She said: “I, his friends and family and lots of other people who have been connected with Grenville over the years in the work he has been doing, are all very proud indeed.

“He has helped a lot of people and the environment.

“Especially I think he has helped through the work the Green light continues to do with marginalised and disadvantaged people. That’s the main thing.

“That is as well as the work he did creating the woodlands for people to be working in. That’s what he will be very proud of.

Bob Feltwell, who has lived in Bentley for 42 year, has been awarded with a British Empire Medal for services to his local community.

During his time in the village, he has worked to create a community play area, has fundraised enough to create a village shop which is now run by 60 volunteers and got football posts built on the community field.

“I was very surprised when I first heard about the award,” he said.

“I didn’t expect anything like it. It’s a pleasant surprise. 
“I feel proud. It’s nice to have recognition for the work I’ve done over the years.

“It’s a very pleasant village we live in. It’s amazing really and there is a lot of incredible community spirit which enables us to get things done.

“It’s nice to see that the work is appreciated by this wonderful village.”

Another recipient, Diane Sarkar, the Chief Nursing Officer for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust was awarded with an MBE.

She said: “We all know how challenging a year 2020 has been, not just for nursing, but for everyone, so to receive an MBE this year for my dedication to nursing and supporting others means an awful lot to me, both on a professional and personal level.

“I am extremely proud of all the nurses and midwives in Mid and South Essex - not only in my Trust, but across the system - for their hard work, care and dedication.

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“Nursing it isn’t just a job, it is a vocation, and it continues to be a large and hugely rewarding part of my life. I am very proud to be a nurse.”

Below is the list in full:

Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Fiona Harrison. Intelligence Analyst, Risk and Intelligence Services, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to Tackling Fraud (Newmarket, Suffolk)

Professor Gillian Louise Schofield. Professor, Child and Family Social Work, University of East Anglia. For services to Children and Families (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk)

Dr Lynne Wigens. Formerly chief Nurse, East of England Region, NHS England and NHS Improvement. For services to Nursing (Woodbridge, Suffolk)

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Shirley McGreal. For services to Tackling Youth Violence, Knife Crime and Poverty (Great Barton, Suffolk)

Stephen Douglas Singleton. Chief executive, Suffolk Community Foundation. For services to the community in Suffolk during Covid-19 (Woodbridge, Suffolk)

William Smith. President, East Anglian Sailing Trust. For services to Sailors with Disabilities (Ipswich, Suffolk)

British Empire Medal (BEM)

Grenville Langham Clarke. For services to the Environment and the community in Suffolk (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk)

Robert Leslie Feltwell. For services to the community in Bentley, Suffolk (Ipswich, Suffolk)

Janet Holden. For services to Public Libraries (Halesworth, Suffolk)

Lesley Anne Elizabeth Utting. Instructor and Detachment Commander, Suffolk Army Cadet Force. For voluntary service to Young People (Thetford, Norfolk)

Queen’s police medal (QPM)

Constable Thomas Graham Albert Farrell. Suffolk Constabulary.


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