Community stalwarts in East Anglia receive new year honours list recognition

Volunteers, community figures and public servants from across East Anglia are today celebrating after being named in the new year honours list.

Twelve people from Norfolk have been recognised, along with 10 from Suffolk and 18 from Cambridgeshire.

Among those made an MBE is Dennis Slaughter, 83, who continues to help out at the Norwich Viking Motorcycle Club nearly every day.

The pensior joined the club as a rider after serving in the army as a dispatch driver.

But after a serious injury curtailed his racing days six years later, Mr Slaughter opted to continue helping the club, based at the Lyng Motocross Track, north west of the city.


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Now, the Norwich resident has been made an MBE in recognition of his 64 years of loyal service to motocross.

Mr Slaughter, of Chatham Street, in the city centre, said: 'I am pleased with the MBE and I don't know who put me forward. I've not seen anyone yet to tell them.

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'I do enjoy helping the club and I am there nearly every day to get the course ready.

'I must have enjoyed helping otherwise I would not have done it!'

Nine more people have been made MBEs in Norfolk, with many paying tribute to their fellow volunteers.

Former NHS nurse Gillian Waters said the efforts of hard-working helpers turned an idea for a day centre into reality.

The Edith Cavell Day Centre, based at the Lakenham Hewett Rugby Club, has been operating for 25 years and has helped an estimated 500 older people.

Mrs Waters, 72, of Bergh Apton, recently stepped down as the principal organiser of the service but said she continues to help out when needed.

She said: 'It's something you can't do on your own. It's been a wonderful community project and some people have been there for a long time.

'To the elderly people who come, many will tell you the centre is their lifeline.'

Self-employed engineer Dr Tim Thirst is following in his father's footsteps after being made an MBE for services to the Stalham Brass Band, youth music and the community in Stalham.

The 58-year-old said his dad Gerald received the same honour for similar reasons in the 2000 New Year's list but died shortly before the ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Father-of-two Dr Thirst, of East Ruston, said: 'Particularly as my father had an MBE for the same thing, I didn't think they would give another one out to the same family, for the same organisation as there are so many people who are worthy of the honour.'

In Norfolk the other people who feature on the new year honours list were:

Royal Victorian Medal

David James Benefer. Glasshouses manager, Sandringham Estate.

CBE

Kenneth Caley. Chief crown prosecutor for the eastern region, CPS.

MBE

Dr Gerry Barnes. Environment manager, Norfolk County Council. For services to Forestry and the community.

Mrs Jane Codona. For services to the gypsy and traveller community in King's Lynn and Norfolk.

Andy Gotts. For services to photography and charity.

Peter Benjamin Griffiths. For services to heritage.

Michael James Muskett. For services to Social Enterprise Aid and to the community in Norfolk.

Mrs Michelle Salter. For voluntary service to the SSAFA Forces Help in Norfolk.

Squadron Leader Paula Willmot. RAF.

In Suffolk the other people who featured on the new year honours list were:

OBE

Alan Caton. Det Supt, Suffolk Constabulary. For services to the police.

Lester Firkins. Chairman, James Lind Alliance, Strategy and Development. For services to medical research.

MBE

Sue Brace. President, Care of Police Survivors. For services to the police.

Hilary Cadman, former chief executive, Ipswich Women's Aid. For services to victims of domestic abuse.

Elizabeth Griffiths. volunteer, St. Mary's Opportunity Group for Children with Special Needs. For services to education.

John David Hibberd. deputy headteacher, Thomas Mills High School, Framlingham. For services to education.

Wing Cdr Martin Richard Hooker. Grade C2, Ministry of Defence.

Anesta Eileen Newson. For services to adults with intellectual disabilities in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Michael Peter Read. President of the Channel Swimming Association. For services to swimming.

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