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New Year’s Honours: South Yorkshire and region awards

Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron gets a knighthood

Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron gets a knighthood

Arise, Sir Kevin! Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron is to be knighted for political and public service - but the 67-year-old former pit worker says he’ll not make a fuss for formalities.

“To be knighted is extraordinary - but I’ll always be just Kevin Barron,” he said.

Mr Barron, recognised in the Queen’s New Years Honours, left school at 15 and began work as an underground electrician at Maltby Colliery.

But after studying at Sheffield University on day-release he went to Ruskin College, Oxford, as a mature student.

He believes his honour is recognition of parliamentary and Rother Valley work. “It has been a joy,” he said.

Honours are in order too for four leading Sheffield medics - starting with neurology expert Prof Pamela Shaw who becomes a Dame.

Prof Shaw is recognised for services to neuroscience, and said she was ‘deeply honoured and touched’.

She is director of the Institute for Translational Neurosciences, an £18m world-class centre in Broomhill where 150 researchers are working to beat motor neurone disease.

“I am the privileged recipient, but many have contributed,” she said. “I hope 2014 will bring a significant breakthrough.”

Prof Wendy Tindale, scientific director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, and Prof Moira Whyte, honorary consultant in respiratory medicine, each receive OBEs, while Prof Kate Gerrish, professor of nursing research, receives the CBE for services to nursing. She has led national training, helping health professionals gain skills.

“This is a huge privilege, and a humbling one,” she said. “I’m thrilled.”

A man who has devoted his life to helping Sheffield’s Asian community has been honoured with the MBE.

Fathir Khan, 76, of Abbeydale Road, worked for British Steel, opened a restaurant, and worked as a kitchen supervisor after arriving in Sheffield from Bangladesh in 1963.

But he devoted his spare time to helping Bangladeshis in the city. He was secretary of the Bangladesh Welfare Association, on Sheffield Racial Equality Council, set up a children’s homework club, and helped form the Asian Ladies Club.

The grandad said he had enjoyed working. “But I have also enjoyed my community work,” he said.

Decades of community work have brought reward too for James Moore, 83. The retired teacher said news of his British Empire Medal had ‘just about sunk in’.

Mr Moore, of Bramley, Rotherham, has been a boy scout chief, choir leader, churchgoer and parish council stalwart. He taught in Bramley and Rawmarsh, has been involved with Bramley Church Scout Group since the 1950s, leads St Francis Players choir, and arranges village events.

But he said: “When I was first told I thought, what have I done to deserve it?”

A headteacher who has boosted three Barnsley schools gets the OBE.

Sarah Creighton, Executive Principal of The Hill and Gooseacre primaries in Thurnscoe, and Littleworth Grange Primary Academies in Lundwood, receives the honour for services to education.

She was already head of The Hill when asked to bring Gooseacre out of special measures, and Littleworth Grange was failing too before Mrs Creighton took over. It has since become the country’s third most improved school.

Mrs Creighton, 49, of Sprotbrough, said: “I found out about my OBE in November and it’s been horrendous keeping it a secret!”

Meanwhile a former teacher receives the MBE for services to education after a classroom career stretching 50 years.

Muriel Kimmons retired last summer from Netherthorpe School, Staveley, where she taught history. She taught previously at Gosforth School, Dronfield. Netherthorpe assistant head Peter Bamford said: “Her energy and enthusiasm never waned.”

Community champion Zanib Rasool really gets a kick out of helping her town - getting a new generation involved with Rotherham United.

The 51-year-old, of Falding Street, Rotherham, receives the MBE for work with Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.

“Everyone knows the Asian community loves cricket, but many love football too,” she said. “It’s about breaking down barriers.”

Zaidah Ahmed, 44, also from Rotherham, also gets the MBE for services to the community.

The mum-of-four and magistrate works in schools’ community engagement, has run summer camps for young people to mix, and set up a project for women in Canklow to learn British values.

She said: “I want to give back - it gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

The boss of a Doncaster prison receives the OBE. John Biggin, director of HMP Marshgate, is honoured for offender management and rehabilitation. Three years ago he was voted public servant of the year.

In Penistone the director of a family firm which ensures the safety of everything from rollercoasters to oil rigs worldwide receives the MBE for services to the economy and regeneration. Stephen Lavender is co-managing director of Lavender International, a world leader in testing training.

Fellow Barnsley businessman Frank Carter becomes an MBE for services to the borough.

Mr Carter is former boss of Yorkshire Traction which ran Barnsley buses until 2005. He was formerly chairman of Barnsley Hospice and president of Barnsley Chamber of Commerce.

Retired Sheffield University Professor Tony Crook receives a CBE for services to housing and charity governance.

Prof Crook, 69, chairs the board of homelessness charity Shelter and is deputy chair of affordable homes provider Orbit Housing. During 40 years at Sheffield University he was professor of town planning.

Ann Cadman, director of training provider The Source Skills Academy, gets the OBE for services to the community. The Source celebrated its tenth anniversary this year and has bases at Meadowhall, the city centre, and Rotherham. Ann, of Ranmoor, said she was ‘delighted’ to be honoured. “It has just made me want to do more.”

Dr Janet Barnes, 61, receives the CBE for services to museums. The former Myers Grove pupil is chief executive of York Museums Trust but worked previously at Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust.

A dementia campaigner and sufferer who has addressed world leaders receives the British Empire Medal.

Trevor Jarvis, 72, of Skellow, Doncaster, has travelled the country giving talks, and has been invited to speak in South America. He said: “I am very pleased somebody thought I’m worthy, and has gone to the trouble of putting me forward.”

Kath Copp receives the MBE for services to charity, having raised over £1m on committees for Rotherham Hospital. The 75-year-old, of Stafford Crescent, Rotherham, said was ‘flabbergasted’ by her MBE. “It’s a lovely feeling.”

Another MBE goes to Alison Middleton, for services to education and the Rotherham community. Magistrate Mrs Middleton is senior executive officer in the Education Department.

A woman who has made it her mission to protect the vulnerable from scams receives the OBE.

Marilyn Baldwin, from Chesterfield, set up the charity Think Jessica following her mum’s death. Jessica, 83, was convinced she was on the cusp of a big cash prize, and spent all her pension keeping up with scammers’ demands.

Joyce Ellis receives the MBE for services to music and young people. Joyce is founder of the Kinder Children’s Choirs of the High Peak. The former opera singer said: “As a child who failed the audition for her school choir aged 12, then went on to sing at La Scala, I am delighted.”

And Geoffrey Miller receives the OBE for services to cricket. The national selector for the England Cricket Team lives in Chesterfield.

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