While military personnel are nominated for Queen’s Honours through their own internal channel, civilians who have made an outstanding contribution to supporting the work of the defence forces are nominated in the usual way, through the public system. This means that it is up to members of the British public to nominate people they know who have made an impactful contribution to the lives of servicemen and servicewoman and their families, in any branch of the Armed Forces.
Beyond giving the benefits of personal recognition, a Queen’s honour can enhance the impact and influence of their work. Bringing their work to the public’s attention will also inspire others to do the same. Capacitated with the respect and esteem an honour brings, getting a gong will enable them to broaden the remit of their activities even further.
A good number of civilians who have received honours for services connected to the military, have received recognition of their role in fundraising or rehabilitation. While buying a poppy in autumn and donating to Help for Heroes are annual events, the vast majority of income for veterans’ charities, and support for their rehabilitation, is down to people who contribute every single day of the year.
Among many fundraisers making the New Year’s Honours List in 2014 were Rosemary Gutteridge OBE, Catherine Lester-Walker MBE and Doreen Rowland OBE.
For her dedicated and longstanding contribution to the SSAFA, a charitable organisation that supports former and serving members of the Armed Forces and their families (pictured above), Catherine Lester-Walker received an MBE. An extract from her citation reads: ‘She is well known and trusted within the military charity sector as someone whose word can be relied upon and whose advice is second to none’. Having dedicated thirty years of service to the SSAFA, the news of Catherine’s honour will likely come as little surprise to her colleagues and the thousands of serving and former services’ personnel, whose lives she touched at some during her contribution.
A Red Cross volunteer from Cambridgeshire, described as “an inspiration” Rosemary Gutteridge, was also on the Honours List at the beginning of 2014. Mrs Gutteridge is the President of the Cambridgeshire Red Cross. A dedicated fundraiser for 27 years, her energy and drive has been a constant source of inspiration for many volunteers and staff across the county.
Among those involved in rehabilitation and treatment, Mrs Doreen Rowland, an Occupational Therapist at Headley Court, a Defence Medical Rehabilitation Unit in Surrey, received an OBE for her services to Armed Forces personnel. In her role as Neuro-services Manager at the unit, she has been at the forefront of an vital service that cares for service personnel who have sustained traumatic injuries during military service.
When considering whether to nominate someone for an honour, look not just at their achievements in the context of others, but at the impact of their life and work, and those deserving recipients will soon stand out – no matter who they are and what they do.
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