The very best of Greater Manchester on show as community heroes honoured in Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2022

The Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2022 has been released – and features a host of incredible people from across Greater Manchester. There’s a variety of amazing additions to the list this year, showcasing the very best the region has to officer.

In Wigan, councillor David Molyneux, leader of Wigan council, has been handed an MBE f or services to local government and the community.

He said: “I am extremely proud, privileged and honoured to be included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, especially in the year of the Platinum Jubilee. I feel that I am not just accepting it on behalf of myself because all of my public service through the years has been supported by my wonderful family, friends and colleagues.

READ MORE:Former United star Rio Ferdinand and City legend Mike Summerbee among UK’s finest celebrated in Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2022

“I am proud to represent my home town and borough in accepting this honour.”

Wigan council leader David Molyneux
(Image: M.E.N.)

The Manchester Evening News spoke to some of the community superstars featured on the list .

Here are their stories…

Helen Bedford-Gay, Sale – BEM

Helen Bedford-Gay and her husband Chris founded a charity to help their son
(Image: Helen Bedford-Gay)

Helen isn’t your typical parent. As well as running around after her children, she also runs a charity with her husband Chris to help people like son Oliver, now 14, who was diagnosed with a rare and incurable condition called FOP – Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. The genetic condition is one of the rarest medical condition, affecting around one in a million people, causing the body to make extra bones in places where bone shouldn’t form, such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

When Oliver was just four-years-old, and Helen and Chris were still coming to terms with what their son’s condition would mean for his future, the pair registered FOP Friends as a charity, determined to help create a space where families could share their worries, problems and solutions with people who understood the difficulties they faced. Ten years on and the charity has grown into a thriving community – with conferences, fundraisers, and get away weekends planned to help families connect with each other.

Helen said: “When we got the diagnosis there wasn’t really a charity for it, there was a small patient group but over the years the charity’s grown into what it is today, it’s just evolved. Doctors don’t really understand it and you have a lot of worries and anxieties as a parent or a person with FOP so we support each other and say ‘where do I get this equipment, how do I deal with this?’.”

There is currently no treatment or cure for the disorder, but there are some practices being used to try and alleviate symptoms which can cause additional harm to people with FOP – something Helen is keen to educate people about so they can be avoided. “In the rare diseases world we are making progress and we’ve got hope,” Helen added.

“We keep working at it, keep chipping away at it day after day, week after week. My husband does just as much as I do and I feel the honour is for my family actually, it’s lovely to be recognised for that and I hope it will create more awareness for the charity and make us more recognisable.”

Lieutenant Colonel Glyn Richard Potts, Oldham – MBE

Glyn Potts serves his local community as a headteacher and an Army cadet volunteer
(Image: STEVE ALLEN)

One look at the headteacher of Newman RC College in Chadderton and it’s easy to see why Glyn Potts has been selected. Originally from Barrow-in-Furness, Glyn and his family made Oldham their home many years ago, back when Glyn planned to join the Army when he left school, before changing his mind at the last moment to become a teacher instead. He started his career at Our Lady’s Roman Catholic High School in 2004, becoming a teacher in 2006 at the site which would eventually become Newman College.

Speaking about his work, Glyn said: “The thing that strikes me the most is that we’ve got so much talent in our young people but they don’t get the same opportunities as other places in the country – both opportunities in education and outside. I’m lucky enough to see the benefits of that, where parents can afford to pay for things outside of school, it gives kids a leg up. They can get really good GCSEs but if they don’t have their Duke of Edinburgh certificate, if they don’t have first aid, if they can’t talk about a time they’ve faced adversity when they go for an interview or get to uni then they’re at a disadvantage.”

Despite his unique perspective as a volunteer and teacher, giving pupils the best tools he can offer so they’re able to get a good start in life, Glyn is very humble about his work, and feels like there are so many other deserving recipients just working at his school. He added: “Education’s tough at the moment and has been for a while. There are so many heroes that will never be millionaires but they’re doing such fantastic work. Seeing their efforts, particularly during Covid, was humbling, having a team like that it’s hard not to want to do your best.

“There’s a slight element of embarrassment, firstly you don’t know what people have said about you but also you don’t know what they’ve looked at and found to be special. I work with people who do something special everyday so humility is easy to find because the embarrassment of being the one who’s been chosen is a bit uncomfortable to be honest. I stand on the shoulders of the giants who work in my school and schools everywhere and I hope I do it proudly.”

Pamela Duxbury, Bolton – BEM

Pam Duxbury is dedicated to Beacon Bolton Counselling Service, and is helping them recruit new volunteers
(Image: Pam Duxbury)

For 74-year-old Pam, work is more than just a place to earn her keep. By her own admission, Pam’s days don’t end when the clock ticks past her finishing time, with the qualified counsellor and service manager at Beacon Bolton Counselling Service more than happy to pull her weight with a volunteer shift to help those in need.

Pam started professional training to become a counsellor in 2007, after life “threw [her] every curveball it could”. She went on placement at Age UK Bolton, Bolton College, and Beacon, where she stayed to help out with various volunteering roles. In 2015, Pam applied to become the new service manager and was given the job, something she’s still very proud of now. Last year, Beacon was given a Queen’s Voluntary Award, leaving many volunteers in shock that their work had been recognised.

Pam hasn’t told anyone in the organisation about her spot on the honours list yet – partly because she’s still coming to terms with the award herself. She said: “Never in a million years did I image that I’d end up here, never in a million years did I think what we achieved last year, we were absolutely delighted to be given the Queen’s Voluntary Award in 2021, at every stage we didn’t think that we would get any further and we went straight through to the end.”

She teared up as she added: “So when I received a call to say I’d been nominated for the award, it was a surprise, overwhelming, I was in disbelief, I thought it might be a hoax. I never expected to receive personal recognition. As much as I’m crying, I’m absolutely delighted. I haven’t told a soul in the organisation and I think part of that is the disbelief, I wanted to wait until the day. I think I’m an exceptionally lucky person to get the privilege of working with the people I work with. I honestly think it’s an amazing personal tribute.”

David Moutrey, Manchester – OBE

Dave Moutrey sees the award as a celebration of his entire team
(Image: HOME Manchester)

When Dave moved to Manchester 35-years-ago, leaving his family back in the north east, he intended to teach – but soon started working full time at a theatre in north Manchester, changing the course of his future. Never did he think that would be the start of a path that would eventually lead to an OBE.

During the course of the pandemic, the director and chief executive of HOME orchestrated regular meetings between the heads of all cultural institutions in the city, meeting regularly to share information, knowledge, and tips on how to reopen safely as restrictions eased – helping other organisations learn from challenges faced by each other.

“It’s great for me but it’s also great for the team of people I work with,” he said, when asked about the honour. “It’s not just about the individual, I’ve got one of the best jobs in the arts in Britain. I’m working with an incredible set of people in the best city for arts and culture in the UK in my opinion, so I sort of share it with all of them. I can’t wait to tell people, I want them to feel as though it’s something they’ve got a stake in, a leader is only as good as their team, and they really keep me focused and excited.

“I know that the nomination didn’t come from inside the organisation so it’s always good for them to know that our work is being recognised. The way that audiences have responded to the work that we’re doing is incredible, the generosity or donations is amazing, one donor gave the city council £500,000 to set up a fund. When those sorts of things happen they really provide a lot of fuel and energy to get through difficult times. After the two years we’ve just had, it’s a real boost. I was very surprised but I’m really grateful.”

Dr Rizwan Ahmed, Bolton – MBE

Dr Rizwan Ahmed worked tirelessly at the Royal Bolton Hospital during the pandemic
(Image: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust)

For Dr Rizwan Ahmed, a respiratory consultant and clinical lead for respiratory medicine at Royal Bolton Hospital, Covid-19 was a very challenging situation. Dr Ahmed graduated in 2002 and has been working as a consultant in Bolton for a decade now, watching as the town endured some of the harshest restrictions during the course of the pandemic to try and limit the spread of Covid-19, with infection rates soaring in the borough compared to its Greater Manchester counterparts.

Dr Ahmed was involved in managing how the entire hospital handled the pandemic – working with the Trust to plan and deliver on strategy. If being a consultant and the clinical lead for respiratory medicine wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Dr Ahmed also worked with the Centre of Excellence in Safety for Older People (CESOP) to improve safety practices in hospitals, care homes, and the wider community. Quite understandably, he’s now been awarded an MBE for services to public health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the award, he said: “I am extremely honoured and humbled to receive this award. This achievement would not have been possible without the help and dedication of the amazing team I work with at Royal Bolton Hospital, CESOP, and support from my family. From the start of the pandemic I was not only involved in managing acutely unwell Covid patients at the front line but also in planning and executing how the respiratory department and the Trust dealt with the pandemic.

“My priority was to keep my patients safe, staff safe and ensure morale was kept high. It was also important to communicate public health messages to our communities, especially hard to reach groups, while continuing with education and training for medical and allied healthcare colleagues.”

Joanne Mohammed, Bolton – BEM

Joanne Mohammed is keen to help other people with a disability see that it doesn’t have to stand in their way
(Image: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust)

When Joanne Mohammed became deaf at the age of seven, her entire world had to shift slightly to encompass her disability. Small things, such as no longer having role models to look up to who had experienced the same difficulties as her, weren’t world-shattering changes, but they were important enough to notice a distinct difference in her life.

Joanne has never let that hold her back, training as a registered nurse and using her successful career to inspire other deaf children, and all children, to show them that a disability doesn’t have to bar you from certain aspects of life. After qualifying as a nurse in 1998, Joanne has spent more than two decades caring for patients across the North West, joining the Royal Bolton Hospital in January this year.

She said: “Throughout my life I have been met with barriers, so to be recognised by Her Majesty is really special. I now have a platform to talk about disability and I want to show that you can be deaf and have a career and go on to achieve. It’s great to know that what I have done is of value. The BEM almost feels too good to be true. It took a while for it to sink in because I never envisaged being recognised like this.

“The pandemic really highlighted the challenges deaf people face in society, which are still ongoing and needs to be addressed. Face masks affected my only form of communication, as almost instantly I was unable hear or see what my colleagues were saying which was really tough. I had no role models as a child, but always tried to do the best I could. I hope I am able to offer that to young people today and prove that nursing can be a successful career for deaf people too.”

Angela Shiel, Salford – MBE

When Angela Shiel and her husband Michael first applied to be foster carers for Salford council, they never imagined that decision would start them on a journey that would eventually lead to being on the Queen’s birthday honours list. In the 21 years since, the pair have given 52 young people in the care system a home to sleep in, and adopted two children with additional needs.

Despite having two adopted children at home now, Angela and Michael have still welcomed three foster children into their home, with many of the children fostered by the couple requiring extra care and support due to additional or complex needs from past experiences. Despite the challenges, Angela continues to give her all to the kids, helping them to maintain relationships with their birth family where they want to, and teaching four children over the course of the pandemic.

Angela said: “When I found out I was going to receive an MBE, initially although I felt really honoured, I also felt a little embarrassed as I feel lots of carers deserve it. I really appreciate being nominated as it’s not an easy process and it is heart-warming to know they feel I deserve this. I have always wanted to foster, it’s just something I always knew I wanted to do and wanted to do it for my local authority of Salford. The most important thing to me are the outcomes for children and young people; supporting them through difficult times, helping them move on, always belonging, being available and someone they can trust.”

Victoria Snell, Salford – BEM

Victoria Snell is keen to talk about her experiences with her own mental health to make it easier for others
(Image: TransPennine Express)

This TransPennine Express mental health champion has been through a lot in the last few years, dealing with the loss of her leg four-and-a-half years ago and the death of a close friend. Instead of letting it hold her back, Victoria Snell has been keen to use her experiences to push for new campaigns to help improve people’s mental health and remove the stigma associated with talking about it.

After taking a mental health first aid course in late 2020, Victoria launched a scheme called Take 10 Together, encouraging colleagues to take a break and chat with each other about how they were doing. She said: “The last couple of years have been hard on everyone really so it’s important that we talk about mental health and how we’re feeling. I talk about it all the time, I’m very open about how I’m doing.

“If you had a headache you need to take a painkiller, there shouldn’t be any kind of negative thoughts around taking medication to manage your mental health. I’m not doing it to be recognised, I do it because I think it’s something we need to do. I sadly lost a friend to his own mental health problems – no one knew there was a problem.

“I’m very honoured to be on the birthday honours list – I’m blown away by it. It’ll be nice to talk about it, I’m very humbled by it all.”

Lora and Neil Fachie, Altrincham – OBE

Lora and Neil Fachie have both been honoured after winning gold medals in the Toyko Paralympics
(Image: Getty Images)

This Paralympic cycling duo have had a lot of success recently, both bringing home gold medals from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics held last August (2021). It wasn’t the first taste of success for either athlete, with Neil bringing home a gold medal from the London 2012 games, and Lora winning her race in the 2016 games in Rio, but it was the first time they’d been able to share in success as a couple.

No the pair get a second chance at celebration, as they’ve both had their MBEs “upgraded” to OBEs in the same list, giving them an opportunity to look back at their most recent success. Neil said: “In sport you’re always quite guilty of achieving something and you’re looking ahead at the next big thing, it’s this sort of thing that makes you look and and think ‘yeah, I’ve done some pretty cool things’. We’re incredibly fortunate that we’re both funded as UK athletes since 2009 but it’s been a long old journey from starting out to becoming competitive. We’re both visually impaired so we can show those with disabilities there doesn’t need to be boundaries.”

Lora added: “It’s a real honour, it’s an honour to be recognised anyway but the fact we get to share it together is quite special, especially at Tokyo games because with covid friends and family weren’t able to be out there so we were lucky that we did have each other, that was a very precious moment to be able to share that and be able to celebrate that win with him – I wish I could have bottled that moment.

“When we’re training day in day out you don’t really think about these sorts of things, you’re focused on the medals and winning races so when something comes along and makes you stop and think about the things you’ve got to allow yourself time to reflect . It’s so dynamic that you’re always moving onto the next thing, you don’t allow yourself time to just sit in the moment and think ‘I’m a Paralympic champion’ or ‘I’m a world record holder’, it’s great to have those moments.”

Claire Osment, Stockport – MBE

Claire Osment
(Image: Claire Osment)

Claire Osment is the founder of Ongoing Women’s Local Support – OWLS. It didn’t take long before women started coming to Claire after she started the venture in 2016, asking where they might be able to find support. She became determined to help them in any way possible, starting a buddy system to enable women to access support when they needed to attend court hearings and one-to-one services for those in need of extra support.

“I started it because if I could help one person then we’ve done something really good,” Claire said. “It’s been absolutely mental, but I love it. I love seeing the women come to us as their lowest and then watching them go back to work and being able to move on, it’s so satisfying. When you go through domestic abuse you are at rock bottom and then have to build ourselves up. If it wasn’t for us, where would they go, where would they get that support?”

Full list of Greater Manchester honours recipients:

Knights Bachelor Knighthoods

Jullian Hartley, Stockport – for services to healthcare as chief executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Creswell Timms MP, London but born in Oldham – for political and public service as Member of Parliament for East Ham

OBE

Richard Bevan, Hale – For services to association football as chief executive of the league managers association

Lora Fachie MBE, Altrincham – for services to cycling

Neil Fachie MBE, Altrincham – for services to cycling

Corrine Hall MBE, Stockport – for services to cycling

David Moutrey, Manchester – for services to the arts, particularly during Covid-19, as director and chief executive at HOME Manchester

Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani, Altrincham – for services to robotics as the professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Salford and head of the centre for autonomous systems and advanced robotics.

Sean O’Loughlin, Wigan – for services to Rugby League Football

Clare Roberts, Lymm – for services to education as chief executive officer for Kids Planet Day Nurseries in Manchester

Dr Rupert Edward David Whitaker, Manchester – for services to charity and to public health as Co-founder, Terrence Higgins Trust.

MBE

Dr Rizwan Ahmed, Bolton – for services to public health during Covid-19 as a consultant respiratory physician at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

Catherine Connolly, Rochdale – for services to the education of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people as headteacher at Brownhill Learning Community.

Antony Cotton, Bury – for services to the British Army, Personnel, and Veterans.

Rebecca Goodrich (Friel), Manchester – for services to education and the community as chief executive officer for Odd Arts

Gary Hall, Altrincham – for services to taekwondo as performance director for GB Taekwondo

Hulmera Haqqani, Rochdale – for services to business and the community as managing director of Let’s Talk

William Heap, Oldham – for voluntary service to the community

Janet Heap, Oldham – for voluntary service to the community

Elizabeth Jones, Stalybridge – for services to education as chair of governors at St Damian’s Science College in Ashton-under-Lyne

Najma Khalid, Oldham – for services to the community as founder of Women’s CHAI Project and lead organiser of Parent Power Oldham

David Molyneux, Wigan – for services to local government and to the community as councillor and leader of Wigan Council

Professor Srimathi Murali, Wigan – for services to international doctors working in the NHS as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Claire Osment, Greater Manchester – for services to victims of domestic abuse in Stockport as the chair of Ongoing Women’s Local Support.

Elizabeth Owolabi, Manchester – for voluntary and charitable services in Manchester

Lieutenant Colonel Glyn Richard Potts, Oldham – for services to Education and to the Army Cadet Force

Pamela Scarry, Rochdale – for public service as head of development, continuous improvement service at HM Revenue and Customs

Angela Shiel, Salford – for services to fostering as a foster carer for Salford City Council

Angela Usher, Manchester – for voluntary services to disadvantaged young people through music

Sanjaykumar Vadera, Altrincham – for services to international trade as chief executive officer for The Fragrance Shop and Per-Scent.

Helen Worth (Dawson), London – for services to drama as an actress.

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire

Helen Bedford-Gay, Sale – for services to people living with fibrodysplasia ossificans profressiva and their families as trustee and communications and fundraising manager for FOP Friends

Dorothy Bowker, Leigh – for charitable and voluntary services to disadvantaged people in Leigh as founder of The Bridge at Leigh.

Pamela Duxbury, Bolton – for services to the community as counsellor and service manager at Beacon Bolton Counselling Service.

Ann Lonsdale, Bolton – for services to the community

Michelle McHale, Manchester – for services to the community in Trafford and Manchester, particularly during Covid-19

Joanne Mohammed, Blackburn – for services to nursing and to disability awareness as a registered nurse at Royal Bolton Hospital

Brian Morton, Rochdale – for services to the community in Milnrow and Newhey during Covid-19

Victoria Snell, Salford – for services to mental health and wellbeing as customer relations manager for Transpennine Express

Vincent Thompson, Hyde – for services to the community

MEN – Stockport