Queen’s Birthday Honours: Midlands heroes recognised for achievements
Extraordinary people across the Black Country and Staffordshire have been honoured and celebrated in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
A volunteer blood bike rider from Cradley Heath, an eating disorder nurse from Stourbridge, and a police constable from Dudley have all been recognised, among many others.
The Queen’s Honours are awarded every year near the Queen’s Birthday, to highlight the inspirational work of local community figures.
David Pearce from Cradley Heath said he was ‘absolutely stunned’ when he heard he had received a BEM (British Empire Medal) in this year’s awards list.
The 44-year-old father is a trustee and volunteer rider for Midland Freewheelers Blood Bikes Charity and was granted the honour for his voluntary and charitable services to healthcare.
David said: “I came through the front door and saw this envelope from the cabinet office and I thought why on earth are the cabinet office writing to me?
"When I opened it I was blown away. It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s still taking a while to sink in.”
As well as his vital work transporting blood, medication, breast milk and even chemotherapy drugs, David is also a full time operations manager at Birmingham Criminal Justice Centre, a coach to the under 14s Old Halesonians rugby team and a dog foster carer.
Nurse Katharine Bird from Stourbridge was also honoured, and said she was ‘delighted and extremely proud’ to receive an MBE (Member of the British Empire).
The 35-year-old, who has just given birth to her second child, works for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and was honoured for the work she has done to help improve the lives of vulnerable young women across the region.
Katharine said: “This was totally unexpected. Although my work is challenging, my aim is to ensure that the young people in my care have a positive experience of mental health services and that they are supported through their journey on the way to recovery.
“I dedicate this award to everyone in our team and to the young people that we care for. Seeing the young people make progress within their recovery is the reward in itself.”
Michael Burke, a 46-year-old caseworker at Staffordshire County Council has been awarded a BEM for services to children and young people with special needs and disabilities. Mr Burke lives in Stafford and works with children who have autism.
He said: “I’m surprised and delighted by the news. I work with some of the most interesting children, some who have gone through a battle to get additional support and it’s great if you feel you can make a difference.”
West Bromwich historian Terry Price, age 79, was also awarded a BEM for his services to his community. Among many other charity endeavours, Mr Price was the driving force behind the four-metre stone tribute of famous 1940s actress Madeleine Carroll, who was born locally, in West Bromwich New Square.
He said: “I feel very honoured that my work has been recognised in this way. It is also an honour for the people of West Bromwich and Great Bridge who have supported my endeavours over the last 50 years and most of all my wife Beryl who has been the driving force behind me during this time.
“I never set out to earn any medals when I embarked on my service.”
Two local officers of West Midlands Police were also honoured for the Queen’s Birthday.
Pc Hubert ‘Hughie’ Treasure, from Dudley, has been awarded an MBE for his work with young people, while special chief officer Michael Rogers from Wolverhampton received the same award due to his ‘remarkable’ contribution to the volunteer police force, the West Midlands Police Special Constabulary (WMPSC).
Fifty-year-old Pc Treasure has been a young persons officer in Sandwell for four years and has made a real difference to the lives of troubled young people.
Special chief officer Rogers, aged 66, has served more than 47 years as a police volunteer and delivers about 80 hours of volunteer time a month.
Others awarded include former councillor Victor Silvester from Oldbury who received an MBE for his charity and political work; Stourbridge-based Sylvia Holmes, the chief executive officer of Economic Growth Solutions – she received an MBE for services to the economy.
Dr Opinderjit Takhar, the director of the Centre for Sikh and Punjabi Studies at the University of Wolverhampton has been awarded an MBE for her services to higher education and the city.
David Walker JP received a BEM for services to the Sandwell community, and Jill Parker from Pattingham received an MBE for services to the magistracy and community.
Chief executive of Staffordshire Women’s Aid, Dickie James, received an MBE for her work helping victims of domestic violence, and Anne Cherriman, governor’s secretary at HM Prison Stafford, has been given a BEM for services to charity and the community in Stafford.
Margaret Hassall, a trustee of the Colwich and Little Haywood village hall, has also been awarded a BEM for services to the community in Stafford.
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