Paralympian Charlotte Henshaw and Prof Jonathan Van-Tam awarded New Year Honours

Paralymic gold medallist Charlotte Henshaw (centre).
By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter

The University of Nottingham’s Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has been awarded a knighthood for his part in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic as a Government Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

Other Nottingham-linked representatives on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list include Diane Lees, responsible for the creation of Nottingham’s Galleries of Justice Museum, now known as the National Justice Museum, who is made a Dame.

The list, published every New Year’s Eve, also features an MBE for Sutton-in-Ashfield Paralympic gold medallist Charlotte Henshaw.

The honours mark the achievements and service of ‘extraordinary people’ across the United Kingdom.

Professor Van-Tam is awarded a knighthood for services to public health.

From Lincolnshire, he has long-standing connections to the city and remains Professor of Health Protection in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham.

In February, he gave up his free time to volunteer at a vaccine centre in Lenton.  As a government Deputy Chief Medical Officer, he has played a leading role in tackling the pandemic.

Ms Lees, who helped create Nottingham’s National Justice Museum – the only museum of law in the country – is made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She is now Director-General of the Imperial War Museum.

Ms Lees, awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by Nottingham Trent University in 2017, is given the honour for her services to Museums and Cultural Heritage.

Sutton-in-Ashfield athlete Charlotte Henshaw, who won kayak KL2 200m gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics , told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It was a real surprise to get the letter through the post.

“It was a really special thing to be invited to accept an award like that.

“For me, I like to think it is about spreading the word of our sport far and wide and it can inspire people to chase their dreams.

“From a paralympic perspective, it gives us an opportunity to give representation to disability.

“I am immensely proud of what we achieved in the summer months and to be recognised for the work we have been doing.

“We are so involved in the daily grind that we don’t often step back and see the impact of what you’re doing.

“That impact can be way more than standing on a podium.”

Before switching to canoeing, Ms Henshaw previously enjoyed a successful career in the pool, representing Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Also on the list is Nottinghamshire’s Chief Fire Officer John Buckley,  who is awarded a Queen’s Fire Service Medal following a long career in Nottinghamshire.

A passionate fundraiser for the Fire Fighters Charity, which provides support to fire and rescue service staff and their families, he has spearheaded the annual Chief’s Challenge which usually raises more than £10,000.

Elsewhere, the leader of Gedling Borough Council, Cllr John Clarke (Lab), from Carlton, is awarded an MBE for services to local government in Nottinghamshire.

Cllr Clarke has dedicated 40 years of his life to the local community and became a Gedling councillor in the 1990s. He has been a county councillor since 1997 and has been the leader of Gedling Borough Council for the last 11 years.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I am very pleased with the MBE. It is nice to get that recognition.

“Some people say ‘you only do it for yourself’ but I don’t. I have given up 40 years of my life to work within the community. Sometimes you have successes and sometimes you don’t.

“Because if your bin is not collected on the Monday I am in trouble. I personally get fed up with the big political rows – it is more about what you can do locally when people walk out their front door.

“I would like to thank my own family – you don’t work 9 to 5. I gave up a small business as an electrician / builder to become a councillor. It was a gamble because at the next election you could be thrown out.”

Elsewhere, Barry Horne, of West Bridgford, is awarded an MBE for his services to Inclusivity in Sport.

The 60-year-old is the CEO of Activity Alliance, a national charity which is a “leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity”.

He has led the shift from focusing on disability sport as a specialist to enabling people to be ‘Active Together’ ‘providing activities for disabled people to be active with their friends and families.

Mr Horne said: “This feels like a particularly special recognition of the work we do. I am delighted, it is just fantastic news.

“I hear directly from people who benefit from our work and you can see the difference it makes to their lives.

“I am lucky to work with fantastic people and spent time with communities who have benefited from our work.

“It makes me feel really proud because that’s an approach because I hope we will see a lot more of it in the future.

“This will be a particularly important legacy for me.”

New Years Honours: Nottingham and Nottinghamshire awards 


Professor Jonathan Stafford Nguyen-Van-Tam MBE Deputy Chief Medical Officer. For services to Public Health (Lincolnshire)

Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Diane Elizabeth Lees CBE Director General, Imperial War Museum. For services to Museums and Cultural Heritage. (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Professor Anthony John Avery Professor of Primary Health Care, University of Nottingham. For services to General Practice (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire)

Elizabeth Barrett Principal, Academy Transformation Trust
for Further Education. For services to Education (Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire)

Mark James Fowles Lately Managing Director, Nottingham
Transport. For services to Public Transport and to Charity (Worksop, Nottinghamshire)

Simon Peter Anthony Massarella JP National Digital Lead for the Magistracy. For services to the Administration of Justice (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire)

Professor Robert Minge Mokaya Professor of Materials Chemistry and
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, University of Nottingham.
For services to the Chemical Sciences (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire)

Katrina Joan Williams Head, Office and Travel Solutions,
Crown Commercial Service. For Public Service (Mansfield, Nottinghamshire)

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

William John Clarke Leader, Gedling Borough Council. For
services to Local Government in Nottinghamshire (Carlton, Nottinghamshire)

Charlotte Sarah Henshaw For services to Canoeing
(Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire)

Barry Horne Chief Executive Officer, Activity Alliance. For services to Inclusivity in Sport (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire)

Gary Michael Jordan Chair, Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 Business Club and Executive Business Coach. For services to the Economy and to the Community in Mansfield and Ashfield, Nottinghamshire (Mansfield, Nottinghamshire)

Amanda Smith (Amanda Austin) Executive Head Teacher, Fernwood
Primary and Nursery School, Nottingham. For services to Education (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire)

Michèle Louise Alma Taylor Director for Change, Ramps on the
Moon. For services to Theatre and People with Disabilities (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Marlene Ferris Women’s Refuge Manager, Newark Women’s Aid. For services to Victims of Domestic Abuse

Lillian Malama Offender Manager Probation Service Learner, National Probation Service Nottingham. For services to Volunteering and to the Rehabilitation of Offenders

Amy Meek Co-Founder, Kids Against Plastic. For voluntary service to the Natural Environment

Ella Meek Co-Founder, Kids Against Plastic. For voluntary service to the Natural Environment

Queen’s Fire Service Medal

John Andrew Buckley Chief Fire Officer, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service


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