Queen’s New Year Honours 2021: All those honoured in Cambridgeshire as Prof Simon Baron-Cohen receives a knighthood
The University of Cambridge’s Professor Simon Baron-Cohen has told of his surprise after he was knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for his service to people with autism.
He is one of 26 Cambridgeshire people honoured in the list, including a number whose work during the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised. Below we detail them all.
Among them are two people at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Medical director Dr Roger Hall becomes an OBE for services to the NHS and the Covid-19 response in the East of England, while nurse consultant Judith Machiwenyika is made an MBE for services to nursing and to BAME equality, particularly during the Covid-19 response.
At Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, infectious diseases clinician Dr Michael Weekes is honoured for services to the NHS during Covid-19.
Others receiving honours in healthcare include Sarah Kingsland, regional infection prevention and control lead at NHS England and NHS Improvement, Dr Tamsin Brown, a community paediatrician at Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust, and Andrew Bendon, an emergency response volunteer at the British Red Cross.
Also honoured are Dr Nicholas Coni, who co-founded the UK’s first University of the Third Age group, established in Cambridge. He is made an OBE for services to education for older people, while Norah Al-Ani, director of Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre, is made an MBE for services to social justice and to gender equality.
Among the other University of Cambridge academics honoured is Prof Usha Goswami, professor of cognitive developmental neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, who becomes a CBE for services to educational research.
Nationally, there is a knighthood for Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, and cinematographer Roger Deakins is knighted after earning his second Oscar for work on 1917, following his earlier win for Blade Runner 2049.
Former footballer Jimmy Greaves becomes an MBE as does former jockey Bob Champion, from Newmarket, who is recognised for charitable services to prostate and testicular cancer research after founding the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
Actress Sheila Hancock, 87, said she felt “an immense sense of duty” after becoming a dame, while Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor said she was “still in shock” at being made an MBE for services to drama. UK garage star Craig David has been made an MBE after staging a career comeback. Influential make-up artist Pat McGrath becomes a dame.
Here are full details of all the Cambridgeshire people honoured in the New Year’s Honours 2021.
Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of autism research at the University of Cambridge, is knighted for services to people with autism.
He said: “This honour came as a complete surprise, and I accept it on behalf of the talented team of scientists at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, and on behalf of the Autism Research Trust, the charity that has supported us.
“The basic needs and human rights of autistic people and their families are still not being met by statutory services, due to insufficient funding, so we are creating a new charity, the Autism Centre of Excellence, to address this gap.”
Prof Baron-Cohen has made major contributions to the study of autism prevalence, screening, genetics and neuroimaging, among other areas.
ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Usha Goswami, professor of cognitive developmental neuroscience at the University of Cambridge is made a CBE for services to educational research.
“I am deeply honoured to receive this award,” said Professor Goswami. “I have been interested in children’s development since training as a primary school teacher and it is wonderful to have my research recognised in this way.”
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Dr Nicholas Coni, co-founder of the University of the Third Age in Cambridge, is made an OBE for services to education for older people.
Inspiration for the group came from France’s Université du Troisième Age, which was founded in 1973 to offer continuing education by professional lecturers to elderly and retired people.
Dr Coni, a consultant in geriatric medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, recognised the potential after a study tour of France in 1981. He contacted Trinity College fellow Dr Peter Laslett, who had an interest in the sociology of populations and the ageing process, to suggest establishing a similar group in Cambridge.
Here, though, the group was run by members for members.
The steering group set up in 1982 said: “The University of the Third Age in Cambridge aims to provide opportunities for retired people to learn and teach both academic and non-academic subjects in a spirit of self-help or mutual aid on a non-profit making and non-competitive basis.”
Founded on March 22, 1982, it became the first U3A in the UK, with many more following.
The Cambridge group has grown strongly ever since, and in 2019 include nearly 3,000 members participating in a programme of more than 350 courses and activities.
Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, chief executive officer of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, who lives in Cambridge, has been made an OBE for services to business and to science.
The catalyst is a business and science park now home to organisations including GSK, the Cell & Gene Therapy Manufacturing Catapult, LifeArc and Cytiva, along with a cluster of start-ups that have raised £1.6billionn in funding between them.
She said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be awarded an OBE. I am passionate about the translation of leading UK science into world leading innovations that improve peoples’ lives. I am immensely grateful to all the colleagues and collaborators that I have worked with over the years for all of their support, generosity with their expertise and hard work to achieve this.”
Nadhim Zahawi, minister for life sciences, said: “The UK’s thriving start-up and scientific research communities are the envy of the globe – they play a crucial role solving some of society’s biggest challenges and fuelling economic growth.
“Under Sally Ann’s leadership, science parks across the UK are bringing these brilliant minds together to develop vital therapies to treat, prevent and even cure diseases. I commend her on this well-deserved accolade.”
Stuart Gibbons, managing director of Le Mark Group, who lives in Holme, has been made an OBE for services to international trade. The Houghton-based family-run business, which employs more than 50 people, has four specialist divisions supplying tapes, labels, floors and crew wear around the world.
Valerie Gibson, professor of high energy physics at the University of Cambridge, is made an OBE for services to science, women in science and to public engagement.
Prof Gibson said: “It is an honour to be recognised for all three of my passions: research into the most fundamental particles and forces of nature, including the mystery of why we live in a universe made of matter and not antimatter; support for gender equality and diversity in science; and the public engagement activities I have undertaken over many years.”
Dr Roger Hall, medical director at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, becomes an OBE for services to the NHS and the Covid-19 response in the East of England.
He said: “I feel both surprised and incredibly honoured to receive this recognition. I really feel that this honour reflects the success of the entire hospital and the outstanding way in which my colleagues have responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their achievements over the last year in particular make me very proud to be medical director at Royal Papworth Hospital.”
A consultant cardiothoracic anaesthetist and intensivist, he studied medicine at Otago University in New Zealand before completing his specialist training in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. He was a consultant at Green Lane Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, practising both paediatric and adult cardiac anaesthesia and intensive care, from 1991 to 2002, before moving to Papworth Hospital. He became medical director in May 2015..
Richard Lee, from Longthorpe, the chief people officer at construction and property services company Willmott Dixon, becomes an OBE for services to business and equality.
Isobel Sheldon, the Huntingdonshire-based director of business development at UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, is made an OBE for services to motor vehicle battery technology.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Norah Al-Ani, director of Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre, is made an MBE for services to social justice and gender equality.
Having worked at the centre since 2010, initially as development officer, Norah has extended the services it offers greatly, growing its annual budget to develop wraparound support for survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence in Cambridgeshire.
Born in Kirkuk, Iraq, to an Iraqi father and Irish mother, she came to the UK as a youngster and has lived in Cambridge since 1980.
She took a job as a cleaner in 1989 at the Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre, before becoming its receptionist and eventually its training co-ordinator. Within five years she had become Women’s Training Network director for England.
After Anglia Ruskin University gave her an honorary fellowship in 2018, Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said: “Norah is a tremendous advocate for women and girls - an inspiring figure wholly committed to creating a world free from sexual violence.”
Dr Alastair Burn, from Ely, a principal specialist in water and pollution at Natural England, is made an MBE for voluntary service to nature conservation in Cambridgeshire.
Sylvia Cundell, senior Crown prosecutor in the East of England for Crown Prosecution Service, from Huntingdon, is made an MBE for services to law and order.
Emma Evans, from March, becomes an MBE for services to goalball and to athletes with visual impairments.
Anna Hallas, from March, the national domestic manager for the food service company Compass Group, is made an MBE for services to the NHS.
Sarah Kingsland, from Cambridge, a senior clinical quality manager and regional infection prevention and control lead for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the London region, becomes an MBE for services to the NHS, particularly during the Covid-19 response.
Judith Machiwenyika, from Huntingdon, a nurse consultant at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is made an MBE for services to nursing and to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) equality, particularly during the Covid-19 response.
Samuel Webb, from Cambridge, is made an MBE for services to architecture.
Mr Webb, now retired, has campaigned to improve the safety of tower blocks since four people died when the 22-storey Ronan Point tower block in Canning Town, Newham, in East London, partly collapsed on May 16, 1968, following a gas explosion. Before the tragedy, he had been investigating concerns about the safety of such large panel system (LPS) buildings.
He also warned of the dangers of fire spreading in tower blocks long before the Grenfell Tower disaster of 2017 which claimed 72 lives - and he was critical of the response in its aftermath.
Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)
Janet Bays receives a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Wisbech.
Andrew Bendon, from Willingham, an emergency response volunteer with the British Red Cross, receives the British Empire Medal for voluntary service in Cambridgeshire during the Covid-19 response.
He helped to set up and manage a county food distribution warehouse, ensuring it was Covid-secure.
He helped oversee the work of British Red Cross community reserve volunteers and delivered emergency food parcels himself.
Dr Pamela Fisher, from Cambridge, receives the British Empire Medal for voluntary service to the community in Cambridgeshire.
Dr Tamsin Brown, from Cambridge, a community paediatrician at Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust, receives a British Empire Medal for services to the NHS during Covid-19.
Dr Brown is also known for creating a glue ear device, which uses a low-cost bone conduction transducer to turn sound into vibration which is restored to an audio signal by the brain. She was inspired by her daughter, Lilac, a glue ear patient, and also helped to create an app that helps youngsters who have glue ear.
David King, from Cambridge, a specialist paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service, receives a British Empire Medal for services to the NHS and to fundraising.
He has particular skills in emergency medicine, pre-hospital care and pre-hospital trauma life support.
Gabriella Pimentel, from Cambridge, a musculoskeletal clinical specialist at Warrior Sports Rehabilitation, receives a British Empire Medal for services to the elderly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also a senior lecturer in clinical specialist physiotherapy within the Faculty of Sport, Health and Applied Science at St Mary’s University, Gabriella previously worked for the Football Association as a physiotherapist in the women's game and remains involved with both national gymnastics and football.
She is an expert in high grade hamstring injury rehabilitation and general lower limb injury.
Valerie Ware receives the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Tydd St Giles.
Dr Michael Weekes, from Cambridge, an infectious diseases clinician at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, receives a British Empire Medal for services to the NHS during Covid-19.
He helped to set up a Covid-19 testing service for NHS staff, sourcing funding for it and ensuring results were delivered back in 24 hours - an approach that influenced national policy.
Dr Weekes helped explore the rapid implementation of sequencing of theSARS-CoV-2 virus as a means of investigating cases of healthcare-associated Covid-19.
A member of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and the Cambridge Immunology Network, Dr Weekes is also a Wellcome Trust senior clinical fellow.
His team aims to understand how human cytomegalovirus and other intracellular pathogens evade the body’s innate immunity.
QUEEN’S FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (QFSM)
Christopher Strickland, the chief fire officer at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, receives the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.
He joined the service in 2007 and took on the top job in 2016. Before that he was at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, which he joined in 1983 at the age of 18.
Read more about earlier honours: