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Seven people from Shropshire are honoured by the Queen

North Shropshire | News | Published:

They are ordinary people often doing extraordinary things – and today they were enjoying their time in the spotlight after being honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Seven people from across Shropshire were included on today's list, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, sports stars and politicians.

They include a Telford woman who calls herself "just a back room girl" but who has helped raise thousands of pounds for different charities and good causes.

Shirley Ann Brookes will receive the British Empire Medal for services to charitable giving in Telford, and her first reaction was to commend all the family, friends and neighbours who have worked with her over many years.

"It's not just me at all, the help and support of so many other people has been, and is, fantastic," she said.

Shirley is a familiar part of the local scene. She has raised more than £28,000 to help, among others, the Princess Royal Hospital League of Friends, the Severn Hospice, the Macmillan Cancer Fund and Age Concern.

For 18 years she has led a group organising coffee mornings in Madeley which have raised around £10,000. Shirley also volunteers for Age Concern in Oakengates.

Dr Joan Lesley Daniels, from Colemere near Ellesmere, has been handed an MBE after spending more than 40 years working to protect and enhance bogs and mosses in England and Wales.

Joan is the senior reserve manger for Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve in north Shropshire.

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The 61-year-old said it is a great honour to be handed the award – but it should in fact be for her whole team and her family as well.

She said: "It was a superb surprise. You always work as part of a team and you can't get anywhere without all the other people that support you so I don't think of it as me doing this. I have been very lucky to have a long career, over 40 years, working on the conservation of bogs and heath landscapes."

Helen Lesley Purchase has been commended with an MBE for services to the NSPCC, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and to the community in Albrighton and Donington.

She has worked tirelessly to support two national charities for more than 25 years and helps to organise social events for her parish church, St Cuthbert's, in Donington.

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Mrs Purchase, 75, who worked as a radiographer at the Royal Hospital in Wolverhampton, said: "I had no idea my name had been put forward until I received the letter.

"I joined the NSPCC during the early 1980s, when it was actually still called The League of Pity."

Mrs Purchase also joined the RNLI and became souvenir secretary, eventually going to pick up her gold badge for more than 25 years of service.

A Shropshire doctor is also on the list for an MBE. Dr Jeremy Johnson, 63, from Shrewsbury, has been granted the accolade for services to palliative medicine.

Dr Johnson was one of the original members of staff employed by Severn Hospice in 1989 and retired earlier this year as its medical director. Dr Johnson found out a month ago that he was in line for the honour and found it hard to keep the news a secret from family and friends. He said: "It was such great elation and pride and a huge honour."

Although he retired earlier this year, Dr Johnson continues his involvement with the hospice's international activities.

Paul Cronin, Severn Hospice chief executive, said: "We are all absolutely delighted with Jeremy's award.

"In my opinion, there is no-one more deserving of such an honour."

In Mid Wales, the former chairman of Powys County Council Gwilym Evans has been made an MBE for his services to the community of Caersws and Tregynon, near Newtown.

Mr Evans said he is delighted to have been nominated and to receive the honour.

He said: "I am so surprised as it was absolutely unexpected. I believe Trefeglwys Community Council nominated me as I was district and then county councillor for 35 years and I always fought my best for the people of the area.

"It has left me feeling very humble and honoured and I am really looking forward to my visit to the palace sometime in the future."

On the Powys border, Councillor Colin Kirkby, deputy mayor of Presteigne, has been given an MBE for his services to the environment and Powys.

Mr Kirkby has been a town councillor since 1987 and has been mayor on five occasions. He has been responsible for a number of projects including the setting up of the Withy Beds nature reserve; the purchase of Lower Wents Meadow and the setting up and running for 20 years of the Presteigne recycling centre which won six national awards and put over £40,000 back into the community.

In Newport, Harper Adams University's grounds manager Mark Hall has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Mark joined in February1981 and manages a team of five staff and an estate of 18 acres, 22 acres of woodland and 800 acres of farmland. The 52-year-old, from Wellington, who has been recognised for services to Land-Based Higher Education and to the National Vegetable Society, said: "I am grateful to the university for putting me forward for this award and honoured to receive it."

Harper Adams' vice-chancellor Dr David Llewellyn said: "Mark thoroughly deserves this national honour for all he has done for Harper Adams and for his many other contributions to the land-based sector."

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