Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire’s New Year Honours in full

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.

Today she has been made an MBE in recognition of her work.

Mrs Waters said: 'It's something you can't do on your own. We started with a handful of willing local people. It's been a wonderful community project and some people have been there for a long time as people are living longer. There are a lot of 90 year olds.

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'To the elderly people who come, many will tell you the centre is their lifeline. It's the only day they get out, have a proper meal and the only day they see their friends. It's also particularly beneficial to the carers as it gives them one or two days off each week, when they can do their own thing.'

Mrs Waters said she believed she was receiving it on behalf of those involved with the centre during the last 25 years.

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She added: 'It's been hard work but it's never seemed it because of the rewards. I feel it's been a privilege to do what I've done.'

A trip to the motocross track is almost a daily ritual for Dennis Slaughter – more than 60 years after his first visit.

The 83-year-old joined the Norwich Viking Motorcycle 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.

Now, the city centre resident has been made an MBE for his 64 years of loyal service to motocross.

Mr Slaughter 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.

'I do enjoy helping the club and I am there nearly every day to get the course ready. I was team manager for the British motocross team for about three years. It was some years ago but I was with the team when they won a team award in 1994.

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

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 father, Gerald, received the same honour for similar reasons in the 2000 New Year Honours list but died shortly before the ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Father-of-two Dr Thirst, of East Ruston, said: 'The letter came through from the Cabinet Office and it's funny as I looked at it and left it on my desk for a couple of minutes thinking 'what could it be?'. When I opened it I wanted to jump up and tell someone but I couldn't. Fortunately we have a band get-together on January 2.

'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.

'Without any of the players in the band there would not be one. I have to thank them for their efforts.'

Dr Gerry Barnes, Norfolk County Council's environment manager, said he was 'surprised and very pleased' after being made an MBE for services to forestry and the community.

Dr Barnes, of Eaton, Norwich, is best known for his work in supporting the development of community woodlands, including woods at Kenninghall, Acle, Wreningham and Burlingham Woods, with the latter earning the 2011 Royal Forestry Society Sylva Trophy.

The 57-year-old, who has worked for the county council for almost 33 years, said he will not see the woods and forests he has helped to create and develop at their best.

Mr Barnes said: 'As a forester you have to be something of a visionary. If you plant a wood you begin to thin it at 20 years, and so on for 100 years. Inevitably it is your children and grandchildren who will be able to see the mature woodland and fell mature trees.'

A dedicated volunteer with the Soldiers' Sailors' and Airmen's Families' Association (SSAFA) thought a letter informing her about being made an MBE had been sent to the wrong person.

Michelle Salter, secretary for the charity's Dereham, Watton and Thetford division, has worked with service personnel and their families for more than 20 years.

She began volunteering with SSAFA, first as a case worker, in 1989 and has been running the division since she took over around 18 years ago.

Mrs Salter, of Yaxham near Dereham, said: 'I was very surprised when I received the letter. I really thought it had been sent to the wrong person! It's very nice, I'm honoured and proud, but I really don't deserve it.

'There are so many people out there that deserve this honour more than I do. It's really a team effort and it's for everybody in the Norfolk branch. I really want to thank everybody involved.' Mrs Salter said her husband Simon – a retired army major – was very proud of her, but she had not been able to tell her other family, including their three children and six grandchildren.

One of Norfolk's most respected accountancy figures has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours List for services to social enterprise aid and to the local community.

Michael Muskett, senior partner in East Anglia for PKF Accountants and business advisers and is based at its Great Yarmouth office.

Over the years Mr Muskett, 66 and who lives in West Somerton, has helped to raise thousands for local and regional charities.

Throughout the year PKF organised fund-raising events for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal British Legion.

The keen Norwich City supporter and father of one is also chairman of NWES, one of the country's most successful enterprise.

Mr Muskett said he was shocked to learn he had been made an MBE.

He said: ''I was shell-shocked really. It took me back I must admit, but I am delighted.'

Asked why he thought he had been honoured, he said: 'I suppose I have done 50 years in the firm and I have done a lot of charity work. I am also chairman of NWES. I assume it is a combination of these and my involvement in the business community. I really didn't expect it at all.'

A former Norfolk woman has been made an OBE for her services to libraries and information centres.

Biddy Fisher, who was from North Walsham, started her career in public, academic and health libraries at the University of East Anglia.

She became president of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and is its chairman. She retired as head of information services at Sheffield Hallam University in 2008 and lives in Denby Dale, West Yorkshire.

The former regional director of the National Trust has spoken of his surprise after being made an MBE today for services to heritage.

Peter Griffiths, 60, who lives in Little Ellingham with his wife Elizabeth, worked for the National Trust for 33 years until his retirement earlier this year.

He was involved with major national initiatives, including the Channel Tunnel rail link and the debate about the South Downs and New Forest becoming national parks.

Mr Griffiths said: 'It is totally unexpected. It is a complete surprise, but it is nice to be acknowledged for the work you have done for several decades.'

Born in Ludlow, Shropshire, Mr Griffiths joined the trust in 1977 as an assistant agent at Blickling after leaving a job with the Ministry of Defence. After he spent time working around the South East, Mr Griffiths returned to East Anglia as the regional director in 2002. He cited one of his successes as the reopening of the west wing at the historic grade one listed Ickworth House.

Sheringham-born Andy Gotts has captured the faces of showbiz legends with a range of photography projects.

These have raised millions of pounds for charities helping diabetes and Aids.

Now, Mr Gotts has been made an MBE for services to photography and charity.

The 40-year-old's career began by cheekily asking Stephen Fry for a sitting during a King's Lynn college visit 21 years ago. He has recently added Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe to his portfolio, and soon begins a new project shooting all living Bafta- winning actors.

Earlier this year he was made an honorary doctorate of arts by De Montfort University in recognition of his photography work.

Now living in London, but with parents still in north Norfolk, he said he was 'blown away' by the new year honour.

Mr Gotts added he is also toying with another cheeky question – asking the Queen for a sitting if she makes the award presentation at Buckingham Palace.

A member of the travelling community, who works to promote understanding, has been made an MBE.

Janie Codona, of Marshland St James, between Wisbech and King's Lynn, was a finalist in the EDP Norfolk People of the Year Awards 2010 and works tirelessly for the travelling community.

She is the manager of One Voice 4 Travellers – a group of women, children and young adults from within the travelling community who work to reduce violence both to the travellers and from them.

The charity works across the Midlands and East Anglia with members of the Gypsy and traveller community, particularly women and young girls, who have been affected either directly or indirectly by violence.

Her citation said: 'She is a role model for the community and well respected by government, local government officials and service providers alike. She uses her past experiences constructively to raise awareness of the problems facing the community and seeks to build bridges.'

Mrs Codona, 54, was appointed as a commissioner on the Commission for Racial Equality. She is the first traveller woman to take on the position.

She is also a member of the Metropolitan Police's Gypsy and Traveller Advisory Group and provides cultural awareness training to a number of organisations including prison officers, police and schools.

A Squadron Leader based in Norfolk has been made an MBE after a hectic 12 months.

Sqn Ldr Paula Willmot arrived at RAF Marham in May of this year to take up a role as a media and communications officer.

She arrived as the airbase was involved in one of its busiest years with squadrons taking part in Operation Ellamy, flying over Libya, as well as having personnel deployed in Afghanistan.

Sqn Ldr Willmot had previously been based at RAF Cottesmore, in Rutland, which was formally closed in March of this year.

Her citation said: 'The exemplary leadership she has provided in the organisation of various high-profile events and for her orchestration of internal communications following the decision that the station, and then the force were to close or disband was nothing short of outstanding.'

It continued: 'In recognition of the exceptional contribution she has made to the public image of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the Joint Force Harrier during an extraordinarily turbulent period encompassing deployed operations in Afghanistan and the drawdown and disbandment of the force.'

David Benefer, glasshouses manager at the Royal Estate, Sandringham, has been included in the honours list and receives a Royal Victoran Medal (RVM) for the second time. His first was awarded in 2002. Different grades of the RVM are available and recipients can hold more than one.

Kenneth Caley, chief crown prosecutor for the eastern region, has been made a CBE. He works in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire and is married with three daughters.


Jenny Hursell, clerk to Southwold Town Council for more than 25 years, says she feels honoured but 'slightly embarrassed' after being made an MBE for her services to Southwold.

She took up the post on October 1, 1985, and finally retired in June this year.

Mrs Hursell said: 'I feel honoured, but also slightly embarrassed because so many other people do so much in Southwold.

'I am touched that people thought it worth putting my name forward for the honour.

'I have enjoyed my post with the council and tried to carry out its wishes during that time.'

The completion of the Millennium Hall project was one of the highlights of her time as clerk.

That role led her to becoming secretary of the town's Millennium Foundation.

She said: 'It was completed four years ago and it is doing really well. It is something permanent from my years and I was pleased to be part of it.'

The award of the MBE has capped a notable year for Mrs Hursell.

As well as 2011 marking her retirement, she became a grandmother twice, and at the beginning of December she published her first book, Southwold Street Names – a speculative history on how streets in the town got their names.

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


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.


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.



Professor Trevor William Robbins, FRS, director, Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Cambridge. For services to Medical Research.

Professor John Wallwork, DL. Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and director of Transplantation, Papworth Hospital, Cambridge. For services to healthcare.

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, formerly chief executive, NHS Cambridgeshire. For services to the NHS.


Trudy Anne Couchman. Grade B1, Ministry of Defence.

Dr David Charles Pencheon, director, National NHS Sustainability Unit, East of England SHA, Cambridgeshire. For services to Public Health and the NHS.


Maureen Adams, founder, regional HIV/AIDS service. For services to people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Michael George Baker, for services to the community in Huntingdon.Peter Carpenter, honorary executive secretary, University of Cambridge Kurt Hahn Trust. For services to Anglo-German relations and to Higher Education.

David Robert Green, for charitable services, particularly to boxing in Cambridgeshire.

Christopher Michael Heaton, head of Planning, Policy and Culture, Libraries Learning and Culture, Cambridgeshire County Council. For services to Libraries.

Dr Caroline Mary Heaven Herbert, chief executive of Red Balloon Learner Centre Group. For services to Education.

Richard Howe, formerly executive director, Estates and Facilities, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the NHS.

Ping Nam Lee, for services to the Chinese Community in Cambridge.

Rosemary Pennington, for services to the community in Cambridge.

Eileen Patricia Wheatley, formerly Senior Social Worker, Cambridgeshire County Council. For services to Children and Young People.

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