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New Year Honours for Shropshire's achievers

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The dedication of normally unsung heroes has been recognised with a string of people across Shropshire and Mid Wales making it on to the New Year's Honours List.

The dedication of normally unsung heroes has been recognised with a string of people across Shropshire and Mid Wales making it on to the New Year's Honours List.

Everything from work for the community and in farming to services to music and even gliding has resulted in honours for almost a dozen folk in the region.

An MBE goes to Mrs Paula Audrey Holden for her services to Wellington.

The 78-year-old worked at the Belmont Community Hall in the town for 43 years and was its chairman for 20 years.

Mrs Holden retired 18 months ago but remains chairman of the Wellington Evening Townswomen's Guild.

She said: "I was a little bit overwhelmed when I got the letter. It is nice to know the work you have put in over the years has been appreciated.

"My husband passed away a fortnight ago but he lived long enough to know that I received the award. He was very proud.

"I hope the rest of my wonderful family can accompany me on the day when I meet the Queen.

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"I'll have to start shopping for my outfit soon."

Keith Robert Mansell said he was delighted after being awarded an MBE for services to gliding.

The 76-year-old, of Ratlinghope, near Church Stretton, has been a member of the Midland Gliding Club for 52 years.

He is currently the president of the organisation and has also held senior roles in the past within the British Gliding Association - the sport's national body.

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Grandfather-of-two Mr Mansell said he hoped his award would help to promote the sport.

He said: "I am very pleased that the sport of gliding has been recognised. We would like to get more members involved both at the Longmynd in Shropshire and nationally."

Mr Mansell said he planned to celebrate the honour by cracking open a bottle of champagne with his family.

In south Shropshire, two residents were recognised in the fields of social enterprise and healthcare.

Jean Jarvis, chief executive of the South Shropshire Furniture Scheme in Ludlow, was made an MBE for services to social enterprise.

She said: "I'm very surprised and delighted, I had known for a while, but I'm absolutely thrilled."

As well as running the furniture scheme, Ms Jarvis has also spent three years as an ambassador for social enterprise.

She paid tribute to her colleagues, saying: "This isn't just about me, it's about the furniture scheme and everybody that works there, the staff, the volunteers and the board who have helped make it a successful social enterprise."

Roger Wilson, who lives near Church Stretton, has been made a CBE for services to healthcare after he founded Sarcoma UK, which provides information on and funds research into an extremely rare cancer.

In 1999, Mr Wilson was diagnosed with a cancer of connective tissue - a soft tissue sarcoma. He had surgery, followed by a recurrence treated with further surgery and chemotherapy. After a long remission, he needed more surgery in 2007 when his lower left leg had to be amputated.

He was recently diagnosed with another tumour and is due to have surgery in January.

He said he was "humbled" by the honour.

Mr Wilson and his wife Sheelagh founded Sarcoma UK in 2003.

He said: "I've made some very good friends through it and lost some very good friends. We've met people who've done some very good work under the name of the charity and that's wonderful to see."

Paul Francis Harris, operations director for Telford-based firm Makita Manufacturing Europe Ltd is to receive the OBE for his services to international trade.

Mr Harris, who lives in Shrewsbury, said: "It was very humbling and I still find it hard to believe."

Peter Cox, of Rhayader, Powys, received an MBE for his services to community arts, which have included his work in helping to establish the Community Arts Rhayader & District organisation.

Mr Cox, who was also previously a screen writer for Channel 4 soap Brookside, said he was delighted to received the honour.

He said: "When I consider this MBE I consider it an award for all because it's an award for everyone who has helped with CARAD and community arts in Rhayader."

Other Powys people receiving MBEs are musical director and conductor Mrs Annie Morwen Pugh, for services to music in Powys, David John Williams, for services to forestry, arboriculture and to the community in the county, and William Gareth Vaughan, President, Farmers' Union of Wales, for services to agriculture.

Ian Arundale, Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police is also honoured with the Queen's Police Medal.

By Simon Hardy

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