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Shropshire people recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours

Telford | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Shropshire and Mid Wales people were today being recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

From left; Lorraine Campbell MBE, Rachel Clacher CBE, Valerie Collard BEM, John Minor BEM and Alan Yates OBE

They include a retired headmistress who supports young victims of crime and a volunteer who saved a vital service for children have both been honoured.

Lorraine Campbell, from Shrewsbury was appointed an MBE for her work as an intermediary for children who have to give evidence in court.

And Valerie Collard, who saved a service which enables separated parents to keep in contact with their children, has been awarded the BEM.

Mrs Collard, from Dorrington, was honoured for services to children and charity.

Lorraine Campbell MBE

Mrs Campbell, former headteacher of St Leonard's School in Telford, said it took several days for the news to sink in.

"When the letter first arrived, I didn't have time to take it in," said Mrs Campbell, who is 67 and lives at Condover Park.

"It wasn't until I got the second letter, I think it was from the Cabinet Office, that it really sunk in that it was real. Before that, I wasn't sure if it was a hoax."

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After taking early retirement, she became one of the first registered intermediaries appointed to help young victims and witnesses in 2004.

"I saw it as an opportunity to use the skills gained through my time in teaching to still be able to help young people," she said.

Mrs Campbell supports young people with special communications needs who need to give disclosures in court, and takes on an average of 56 new cases every year.

With her support, many victims – some as young as three – have been encouraged by her to give evidence.

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Committed

"She passionately believes that children must have a voice and receive justice," said a spokesman for the Cabinet Office.

"She will often travel many hours to areas that don't have an intermediary service to interview children. She is totally committed to those in her care in order to allow them to access justice."

In one instance, a child witness was identified as selectively mute as a result of the trauma from a serious sex assault.

"However, following Lorraine's suggestion, they were able to to communicate using a laptop computer with questions and answers being typed," said the spokesman. "This was the first time evidence had been given in this way and the first conviction resulting from it."

Another initiative she pioneered was providing children on the autistic spectrum with photographs of court staff to help them build up familiarity and trust.

Mrs Campbell said it was a privilege to work as part of a wonderful team, and said she had found the job most rewarding.

"The best part is seeing a child come out of court smiling and feeling they have done a very good job," she says.

Valerie Collard BEM

Mrs Collard set up a charity to keep Shropshire's child contact centres going when they were threatened with closure in 2003.

They had previously been run by the WRVS, but the organisation decided it was no longer able to provide the service.

Mrs Collard, who is 75, worked with family lawyers and the local family court judge to save the service. They set up a county management committee which enabled four centres – in Shrewsbury, Telford, Oswestry and Whitchurch – to continue providing neutral places for children to meet with parents they did not live with.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "Her efforts have enabled hundreds of absent parents over the last 15 years to rebuild their relationship with their children."

The families that use the centres only have to pay a one-off fee of £50 as the centres are run by a band of more than 35 volunteers.

"It was very rewarding seeing the children meeting with their non-resident parents," she said.

"We still keep in contact with them sometimes, they come back to see us which is delightful."

Mrs Collard was also a founder member of the Youthline service, a telephone helpline for young people in distress launched in 1992, and is a volunteer at the Dana Prison visitor centre and with the Crown Court Witness Service.

Alan Yates OBE

Alan Yates, deputy chief executive of Accord Housing, has been appointed an OBE for services to housing.

Mr Yates, from Bridgnorth, took up his present role at the West Bromwich-based housing association in January, having previously served as commercial director.

Accord currently has more than 13,000 homes, providing services and support to more than 80,000 people.

Mr Yates will join his boss, Accord chief executive Chris Handy, who was made an OBE in the 2009 birthday honours list.

Mr Yates has more than 24 years senior management experience in the affordable housing sector in regeneration and development. He previously worked as head of business development at Black Country Housing.

Before joining the sector, he worked as general manager of a building company and had several years’ project management experience in the construction industry

His building background has led to particular interest in low-carbon housing, and he is chairman of the Sustainable Housing Action Partnership.

He has won Inside Housing magazine's ‘Green Social Housing Champion’ award, and has won a variety of awards in the industry.

Mr Yates also site on the board of Redditch Co-operative Homes and Ditton Prior Community Land Trust.

He is chairman of Accredited Skills for Industry and the NHF Regional Investment Group, a member of the NHF Great Homes Group

Rachel Clacher CBE

Telecommunications entrepreneur Rachel Clacher is appointed a CBE for services to business and disadvantaged young people.

Mrs Clacher, from Oswestry, co-founded business telephone service Moneypenny in 2000, with her brother Ed Reeves.

The company has grown into a global provider of telephone answering, outsourced switchboard, live chat and customer contact services.

It now handles more than 13 million customer communications a year for 13,000 businesses, and employs 650 people in the UK and has offices in Charleston, USA.

The company previously won the Queen's Award for Enterprise and has been recognised in The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ five times, including a top five listing in 2015 and 2017.

Mrs Clacher also founded the charity We Mind The Gap in 2014, which offers six-month training programmes to improve the prospects of young women from deprived backgrounds.

She raises money for the Wrexham-based charity from speaking engagements to national and international business audiences.

Moneypenny and We Mind The Gap were shortlisted for the 2017 Wales Responsible Business awards, after 70 per cent of its trainees went on to full-time employment or education.

Schemes

First aid trainer and first responder Malcolm East has been in the business of saving lives for almost five decades.

He is being awarded an MBE for services to first aid and services to the Llandrindod Wells community.

Mr East, from Rhayader, received first aid training as a young man in the air force, and by 2005 he was in charge of coordinating first aid for the Welsh Government.

That same year he founded Llandrindod Wells First Responders along with other first aiders in the area, and was instrumental in similar schemes being started up in Aberystwyth and Llandudno Junction.

Over the years he has lost count of not only the number of people he has helped, but also the number he has trained up to be able to help others.

"I am very passionate about first aid because you see it save lives," he said.

"Going into a situation there is a sudden burst of adrenaline but thanks to all the continuous training you are able to just get on and deal with it. All a first aider can ever do is the best that they can for each casualty.

"One of the greatest feelings is when you get a phone call in the office from someone who says, 'I'm so glad I did your course last week', because they have found themselves having to use it.

Mr East, now 65 and recently retired, is looking forward to returning to Buckingham Palace – where he recalls standing guard during his military career – but says he never expected any recognition for his work.

"I am honoured but also surprised," he said. "It is something I never thought about happening.

"First aid was just something I was good at and something I was passionate about. As far as I was concerned I was just doing my job."

John Minor BEM

A Telford man who served as a borough councillor for 36 years has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

John Minor, of Durrant Road, St Georges, has been honoured following a citation submitted by Telford & Wrekin Council.

The 77-year-old, who stepped down as a councillor in April, represented the St Georges ward since 1983.

The council said he had been passionate and resourceful during the numerous roles he has held in that time, including being chairman of the council in 1991/92, deputy speaker in 2002/03 and speaker in 2003/04.

He has also served on St Georges Parish Council since it was formed in 1988 and had been Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for leisure, green spaces and parks.

John said: “I am very humbled to receive this honour. I have only ever strived to do my best for my constituents and to help shape local, affordable and much needed events for the benefit and enjoyment of the whole community.

“This is a civic honour and one for the borough as much as me and also recognizes the staff of Telford & Wrekin Council for their expertise in helping councillors to do their duty.

“I would also like to recognise the role of an elected member’s family in supporting anyone who holds public office, both publicly and practically.”

Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies said: “I would like to offer huge congratulations to John who has been an exemplary public servant for more than three decades.

“This Honour is richly deserved for all the selfless hard work John has carried out on behalf of our residents and community.”

Selected honours in Shropshire and the region

CBE: Rachel Maud Elizabeth Clacher, of Oswestry, for services to business and to disadvantaged young people.

OBE: Alan Yates, of Bridgnorth, deputy chief executive Accord Housing Association, for services to housing; Professor Elizabeth Florence Barnes, of Staffordshire, for services to higher education; Grace Ononiwu, West Mids chief crown prosecutor, for services to law.

MBE: Lorraine Katrina Campbell, of Shrewsbury, registered intermediary Ministry of Justice, for services to young victims and witnesses; Nicola Daniels, for services to the community in South Shropshire; Peter Martin Reddin, of Newport, for services to gymnastics; Malcolm East, for services to first aid and to the community in Llandrindod Wells; Susan Gail Ball, of Coven, for services to libraries; Professor Jason Otto Gardosi, of Birmingham, director at Perinatal Institute, for services to maternal and infant health; Dr Helen Macpherson, HIBBS clinical officer, for services to NHS Leadership; Patricia Margaret Hudson, for services to Fostering in Birmingham; Aghia Pal Singh, infrastructure engineer at West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, for services to charity and the community

BEM: Valerie Anne Collard, of Shrewsbury, for services to children and to charity.

Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal: Steven John Wheaton, assistant chief ambulance officer, West Midlands Ambulance Service; Deborah Joanne Goldsmith, controller, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.

Queen’s Police Medal: Lee Carl Davenport, Chief Superintendent, West Mercia Police

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