The 2015 New Year Honours List has been revealed as a celebration of community champions, exceptional professionals and committed philanthropists across the UK.
Of course the contributions of our renowned celebrity actors, artists and sports people are recognised too, but in reality these make up a very small proportion of the names announced.
In total 1,008 candidates have been recognised by The Queen. But don’t be fooled by the media into thinking that a gong can only be obtained if you have hit the headlines, appeared on TV or won an Olympic medal – far from the shining lights of the stage and screen are 746 ‘ordinary’ people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to give back to their community, their profession or to others, in a sustained and exceptional contribution to society. That is a staggering 74% of the entire Honours List.
The gender gap is almost indistinguishable with almost 50% of the list made up of honours for women, 16 of whom became Dames such as Kate Dethridge, Principal of Churchend Primary Academy, Reading (pictured above), who helped turn round six schools identified as being vulnerable. She is now also supporting a school in special measures as executive head.
Meanwhile with their new title Sir to write home about, 22 men received Knighthoods, the top honour awarded for a significant and distinguished impact upon the UK. Counted amongst these is Professor Norman Williams, an international leader in colorectal surgery and research, focusing on improving the quality of care and life for patients. He has also raised over £18m in research grants and published seminal works that have influenced NHS pathways and improved the quality of life for many cancer sufferers.
A special focus on recognising those who help vulnerable young people and children has been identified in the list this year, notably exceptional individuals in education, child protection and childcare have been singled out for their important and often life-saving work.
Philanthropy has a big place on the list too, and many generous supporters of business, education, health and the arts have been awarded an honour for their outstanding support.
2014 has been a memorable year for so many reasons, but one picture that will remain in the hearts and minds of many is the incredible poppy feature at the Tower of London. It is therefore to the delight of many that Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and theatre designer Tom Piper are both made MBEs in recognition of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation which attracted five million visitors.
Here at Awards Intelligence we are privileged to hear the stories of so many diverse and exceptional individuals’ work and achievements, and it is thanks to their enthusiastic nominators that their achievements are given the recognition they deserve. So if you know someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help others, supported their community, led their profession or pioneered an outstanding development, don’t let their work go unnoticed, give them the platform they deserve to build on their success and do even more great work in the future by nominating them for an honour.
Email us now to book a free, no obligation assessment of your chances of success and you might just see a name you recognise on a future Honours List.
Individuals profiled on this blog are identified only to illustrate the type of people who are awarded honours each year and are not necessarily connected to Awards Intelligence.