An inspiring college head and a retail guru supporting good causes are among several Huddersfield people to receive Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Angela Williams, principal of Huddersfield New College, received the OBE for services to education.
Angela has worked in education for 33 years, starting her career at Shelley High School after graduating from Oxford University. She worked at Oldham Sixth Form College for 15 years before moving to New College in 2007 as principal.
Under Angela’s leadership, described as exemplary by Ofsted, the college has transformed the lives of thousands young people – a fact recognised in 2016 when Ofsted judged the college outstanding in every aspect of its work.
The OBE also recognises Angela’s commitment to sharing her expertise as a trustee of two local Co-operative Trust schools, a director of a Multi-Academy Trust and a founding member of the Collaborative Learning Trust which brings together the three colleges in Kirklees.
She said: “It was a huge surprise to receive news that I had been nominated. It is an incredible privilege to work with young people on a daily basis and it is a joy to be part of the wonderful staff team at Huddersfield New College who work extremely hard to help the young people in our care to achieve their dreams.”
Retail specialist Kate Hardcastle, star of TV’s The Customer Whisperer and founding partner of Huddersfield-based business transformation agency Insight with Passion, receives the MBE for services to business.
As a voluntary business mentor she has supported many hundreds of start-ups and micro-businesses through seminars, workshops and one-to-one advice sessions and donates 20% of her business’ time to charity and community causes – including her Positive Image campaign to support young people with a crisis in confidence.
Kate, of Lindley, said she felt “humbled”, adding: “I would like to thank all of my family and friends who support me in my passion for business and charitable causes and my wonderful fellow volunteers at the charities and community projects I support.”
Gordon Balmforth, of Dog Kennel Bank, Huddersfield, receives the BEM for services to music and charity in Kirklees. The composer and pianist has been involved in charity work for more than 30 years and stages concerts with friends in the music world to raise funds for Caritas, a benevolent organisation supporting people with long-term medical conditions and their carers.
He said: “When I got the letter I thought ‘who the hell is playing a joke on me?’ I was surprised and taken aback. You don’t do these things to get awards, you do it because you want to do it. It’s nice to know that it’s appreciated though.”
Calderdale Council leader Clr Tim Swift receives the MBE for his contribution to local government and the regeneration of Halifax while Stuart Smith, its director for adults and children’s services, gets the OBE for services to children.
Clr Swift oversaw the transformation of Halifax’s Grade I listed Piece Hall which attracted more than 2m visitors in the nine months following its re-opening on Yorkshire Day, 2017.
He said: “I was very touched and surprised to be nominated for this honour which feels like the icing on the cake after the incredible year that we’ve had in Calderdale. It’s a real privilege to represent Calderdale, both as a ward councillor and as the leader and I have been very lucky to have been involved in such flagship projects for the borough.”
Mr Smith, who has overseen the council’s services for children and young people achieve outstanding ratings from Ofsted for its residential provision, said: “I’m very proud to have been awarded this honour and I must say that I am delighted, but I’m also a bit embarrassed because this wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have such a great team.”
Dee Collins. chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, is awarded a CBE for services to policing and the British Association of Women in Policing. In 2013 she was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for her contribution towards British policing.
Dee, who lives in Huddersfield, said: “I am really touched by the recognition which I regard as a huge complement to all women in policing and to their male colleagues who support them. It shows how far we have come.”
Other Huddersfield recipients include Dr Marnie Millard, group chief executive at soft drinks firm Nichols plc, based near Warrington, who gets the OBE for services to international trade and business in the North West and Home Office official Maxine Elizabeth Walton, who receives an MBE for services to border security as assistant director of the EU Turkey Agreement Liaison in Athens.
Holmfirth’s Prof Denise Ann Bower, Professor of Engineering Project Management at Leeds University, receives the OBE for services to engineering and construction; and Lorraine Smith, also of Holmfirth, a station manager with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, gets the MBE for public service.
Among national figures, Liverpool football great Kenny Dalglish gets a knighthood following his support for the Hillsborough families’ quest for justice while Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson becomes a dame. Actor Tom Hardy is recognised for services to drama with a CBE while Keira Knightley is made an OBE for services to drama and charity.