The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren Smith, presented The British Empire Medal (BEM) to 5 recipients in a ceremony in the Great Nave at The Monastery, Manchester, on the 26th November 2019.
The Lord-Lieutenant said ” Today I am particularly privileged to represent Her Majesty The Queen, presenting on her behalf, the British Empire Medal. Today’s recipients are true representatives of those who dedicate themselves to the communities within which they live or work. Their stories are so different from each other which goes to show the depth of good work people do in Greater Manchester.” The Mayors from the recipients’ home areas or places of work, also attended the ceremony, later staying to speak with the recipients to thank them for the work they have done.
The BEM is awarded for meritous civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown and was established in 1922. In 1993 it lay in abeyance in the UK until it was once again issued in 2012, to coincide with Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Whilst receiving their medals a brief description of why each were nominated was read to the audience of family and friends.
ANTHONY FREDERICK CHARLES COLLIER – TRAFFORD
Anthony has contributed significantly to the community, sport, charity and to the local economy. He was instrumental in growing Styal Running Club, qualifying as a leader in running fitness so that he could help members improve. The club wanted to contribute to the local community and adopted a local charity, The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust. Anthony has raised over £40,000 for them and his firm has raised similar sums by their support of the charity. He took on the 56-mile Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa. This is a tough race in extremely warm conditions. Injury prevented him from completing but he had raised so much that he returned a year later describing the challenge as the most brutal imaginable.
In May 2017, he was diagnosed as suffering from incurable prostate cancer. The treatment has had a profound effect on his life. Despite this, he returned to running once the initial treatment was completed. He saw an opportunity to set himself some personal targets and raise money for charities which had treated and supported him so well. He ran the Manchester Half Marathon raising funds for The Christie Cancer Charity and spoke at a Maggie’s fundraising event, which raised substantial funds for the charity.
Despite all this, he is perhaps better known for his contribution to his community and economy of Altrincham. Altrincham was once described in the national press as a ghost town but not now. His voluntary part in his hometown regeneration has been significant over a sustained period. He is a local hero.
JENNIFER VALMAI MARGARET GREENWOOD – OLDHAM
Jennifer has been responsible for putting the small village of Lydgate firmly on the map. In 2008 she inspired a group of residents into forming a community group now known as ‘Love Lydgate’ for which she acts as chairman and secretary. The group are responsible for changing the little village into a beautiful place with magnificent floral displays which have been recognised by Britain in Bloom.
She has created various projects and organisations such as ‘Lydgate Larks’ the local choir and ‘The Lydgate Stitches’, a group of ladies who have created a stitched hanging wall in the Parish Hall commemorating the death of the soldiers that fought in the Second World War. She was also responsible for publishing a book ‘Boys from the Top of the Hill’ about the men of Lydgate who lost their lives during World War One.
In addition, Jennifer organises monthly coffee mornings and lunches which include interesting talks from regional speakers. She organises an annual, sell out event, ‘Lydgate Lunch’ which creates a chance for local people to get together and promote local talent creating a sense of belonging. She also runs a ‘Keep Fit’ Session weekly in the parish hall.
Jennifer also spends an enormous amount of her own time out in the community organising activities and fundraising events such as ‘The Annual Big Plant’ and ‘Home Bake Fair’ all raising money for local charities. She is a dedicated woman whose enthusiasm and pride in her local community is truly inspiring.
EMILY MAY ROBERTSON – MANCHESTER
Emily started her career in caring in 2002 as a nursing assistant qualifying as a nurse in 2008. She started her nursing career at the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust as a staff nurse, initially working within medicine and then moving to work within Stroke Services. Her initial ward was struggling and accredited as requiring intervention and support but within 2 years of her becoming the Ward Manager it achieved gold accreditation (the highest possible achievement) such is her leadership and passion for good nursing. She subsequently repeated this in another ward that required leadership intervention.
Her passion for individualised patient care is outstanding. She has led work to ensure that staff recognise and know the individual person they are caring for by developing a handover programme (look at the person not the condition) focusing on the individual patient. This was recognised with the ward winning the Trust Proud of You overall winner award. Her ward also has 100% of FFT (Friends and Family Test) responses highly recommending the ward.
She has inspired a number of nursing assistants to become registered nurses and is an exceptional role model.
Emily’s passion and commitment for elderly care and for improving services for patients with dementia is demonstrated not only in her clinical practice but also in her personal life. She has raised funds for patients by undertaking sponsored 10k runs and encourages her team to do so too. She also completed a triathlon for nurses’ families affected by the Tsunami in India.
She is an outstanding and inspirational Ward Sister.
RICHARD SEARLING – BOLTON
Richard has always been at the forefront of soul music. He began his musical journey as a DJ at Northern Soul all-nighters, before later moving into radio broadcasting.
He is currently broadcasting with regional BBC stations, and Solar Radio, London. In addition to this, he organises one of the biggest annual international soul events held in Blackpool, which keeps the flame of Northern Soul burning brightly. The numerous events he helps promote and organise attract a significant following who greatly appreciate the nostalgic feel that this music provides. Not only this but his events also generate over £1m to the local economy.
In 2015, he was the proud co-sponsor of the Wigan Casino Blue Plaque, where he began his career and it sits on the original site of Wigan Casino in the Grand Arcade.
He stands out in this field combining live events and radio shows to really promote and keep soul music and the industry alive.
He advised on the BAFTA nominated film Northern Soul, on musical choices, historical facts and venue choices. He was dauntless in his efforts and did not accept money for his work as it was an independent film. He also helped secure hundreds of extras, promoting a dance floor film event which helped to create the most spectacular scene of the movie. As a show of thanks, he was awarded the credit of Executive Producer, having gone well above and beyond the cause.
Within the scene his name has attained mythical status and he is known as the best DJ of all time.
JANET WOOD – SALFORD
Janet has been actively involved in Girlguiding for over 60 years. During this time, she has undertaken many roles including a mentor, trainer and commissioner as well as a unit leader and North West England trainer. She also served as an advisor for the Lancashire Discovery Award for the over 50s followed by regional advisor shortly after.
She a recipient of the Laurel Award for Girlguiding — the highest national award for exceptional service.
Hundreds of leaders and young people have benefited from Janet’s mentorship and passion for guiding in the Girlguiding Lancashire Border County. The county serves as an area for diverse communities and some very challenging inner-city areas within Greater Manchester. Through her work she enriched the lives of all who met her. She has mentored many young leaders who have continued in guiding as adult leaders in areas across the UK and with some now living in other countries such as Canada. Throughout her time in Girlguiding Janet has appeared in the local press to highlight opportunities and to encourage young people to come and try it.
Not only does Janet volunteer for guiding, she is a well-respected member of the Church team. She was a Sunday School teacher for over 20 years and took an active part in organising church activities for young people. In addition to this she has been the Chair of Governors for the Church School for over 15 years.
An outstanding community champion; Janet has dedicated her life to selfless volunteer service.