The release of the Queen’s Birthday honor list coincides with when the whole country celebrates the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. For a handful of people in Surrey, the four-day weekend will be extra special.
Eleven residents across the county have been honored this year. There are seven people who have received an MBE and four who have received a BEM.
Robert Quest of Chertsey, for example, received an MBE for his services to animal health and welfare, and Stephen Blunden of Oxted received the same for his services to children. Meanwhile, Benjamin Green of Guildford was awarded a BEM for services to the community in Puttenham.
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SurreyLive has listed all the residents of Surrey named on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List for 2022. Included is information on why they have been honored, as well as how they each feel about it.
Order of the British Empire
Robert Quest (Chertsey), head of Heathrow Animal reception center, recipient MBE f or animal health and welfare services. He told SurreyLive: “I was absolutely delighted and honored to be awarded the MBE. I could not have achieved anything without the help and support of my colleagues in the City of London, with whom I have worked for over 35 years and the opportunities they provided me.”
Valerie Watson (Normandy), v electrical hazard head of the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, awarded the MBE for services to soldiers and their families. She said: “I’m still in shock and it’s all surreal – I’m just a normal human being and I’ve been honored to do my job. When I received the letter, I broke down in tears.” She dealt with the complexity of the heritage, culture and tradition of Gurkha service in the second largest Gurkha unit in the British Army.
Valerie was appointed head of the unit welfare office in 2006 after the regiment moved from Colchester to Aldershot.
Andrew Baird (Horley), chair of the company at East Surrey College, receives an MBE for continuing education services. He said: “It was completely unexpected and I’m pretty touched by it, no one had talked to me about it. I did not expect any recognition at all and it really is an honor.”
During his tenure as chairman, which he has been since 2016, he successfully guided the college through a period of sustained growth, which included overseeing a merger with John Ruskin Sixth Form College in South Croydon.
Christine Lindsay (Wallington), community master. She has been awarded the MBE for volunteer and charitable services to the community in the London borough of Sutton. She said: “It was a surprise. You think it will happen to you maybe at some point, but then the letter comes and you think ‘god this is real’. It will not make a difference to what I do, I do. it because I enjoy it and I want to make a difference. ”
Since retiring in 2012, she has worked on a voluntary basis for various charities and other community initiatives.
Charlotte Kneer , CEO of I Choose Freedom (formerly Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid), has been honored for services to victims of domestic violence in Surrey. She told SurreyLive that when she received the letter in which she informed her, she cried for 10 minutes.
She added: “In the job I do, one does not expect financial reward or recognition, but just knowing that there are people out there who think I have done a really good job made me feel that I had turned something. so awful into something so good. “
Robert (Chris) Brewer (Limpsfield), chair of the YMCA East Surrey, has been awarded the MBE for charitable services to young people. He said: “It is a great honor and a great surprise. I became involved in the YMCA in the 1960s and my father had been involved in it before.”
He has dedicated the last 60 years to leading, collaborating and funding charities that support the people most in need. In 1997, he established a charity to channel his personal wealth to selected projects that support people with disabilities or the disadvantaged.
Stephen Blunden (Oxted), retired CEO of Childhood First, receives MBE for services for children. For almost 40 years he has dedicated his life to improving opportunities for children and young people and was the CEO of Childhood First, a role he has held for 17 years, focusing on promoting the quality, availability and effectiveness of therapeutic treatment in residential areas for severely traumatized children.
He said: “ It’s great to get some recognition for the work we’ve done. It is important work and it is very little known because the children are so vulnerable. This is one of those moments, especially because I’m retired, where we can put the work of the charity more clearly in public. ”
British Empire Medal
Benjamin Green (Guildford) has been honored f or services to the community of Puttenham. Throughout his time in the Puttenham Parish Council (PPC), he devoted his time to the welfare of the local community.
He said: “There was a group of people backing me up all the time; you can never do it on your own. Without these people I would not have achieved anything and of course my family has to suffer because I am always at meetings. I’m sure there are other people who deserve it just as much. ”
Elizabeth Townsend (Cranleigh) – former chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council – has been honored bor services to the community of Cranleigh. She has led many community-based areas of responsibility and initiatives, including climate emergencies, new playground facilities and tree planting.
She told us: “I had no idea at all, so it was a big surprise, but hugely humiliating. I’ve always been a volunteer – I’ve been chairman of the local rugby club at one point and chairman of the PTA, so I’m a bit of an eternal volunteer. may sound a bit banal, but I just like to make a difference in my community and help where I can. ”
Billy Thomson (Charlbury), Secretary of the Army Football Association.For sports services. He said: “I feel very honored and privileged. But I also consider the honor a team effort and not a single effort by myself.”
Billy, originally from Ballater (Glenmuick) in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has been the driving force of Army Football for 20 years and has increased participation exponentially, with eight representative sites established and over 7,000 male and female soldiers playing at all levels. He also delivered overseas tours – most notably the first women’s tour ever to Oman in 2019.
Barbara Stopford (Tadworth), dance teacher. For worship services for dance – especially during Covid-19. She said, “I’m happy, and it’s absolutely incredible. I did not expect that.”
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