Professor Jonathan Van-Tam of the University of Nottingham has been named a knight for his role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as deputy chief medical officer of the government.
Other Nottingham-related representatives on the Queen’s New Year honors list include Diane Lees, responsible for establishing the Nottingham Gallery of Justice Museum, now known as the National Museum of Justice, which is become a lady.
The list, released every New Years Eve, also includes an MBE for Sutton-in-Ashfield Paralympic gold medalist Charlotte Henshaw.
The honors mark the accomplishments and service of “extraordinary people” across the UK.
Professor Van-Tam is appointed knight for services rendered to public health.
A native of Lincolnshire, he has long-standing ties to the city and remains Professor of Health Protection at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine.
In February, he gave up his free time to volunteer at a vaccination center in Lenton. As the deputy chief medical officer of the government, he has played a leading role in the fight against the pandemic.
Ms Lees, who helped establish the National Justice Museum in Nottingham – the country’s only law museum – is named Lady Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Today she is the Executive Director of the Imperial War Museum.
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Ms Lees, who received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Nottingham Trent University in 2017, is being honored for her service to museums and cultural heritage.
Sutton-in-Ashfield athlete Charlotte Henshaw, who won gold in the KL2 200m kayak at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, said: “It was a real surprise to receive the letter in the mail.
“It was really special to be invited to accept an award like this.
“For me, I like to think that it’s about making our sport known everywhere and that it can inspire people to pursue their dreams.
“From a Paralympic point of view, it gives us the opportunity to give representation to disability.
“I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished over the summer months and to be recognized for the work we have done.
“We are so involved in the daily grind that we don’t often take a step back to see the impact of what you are doing.
“This impact can be more than just stepping on a podium.”
Before switching to canoeing, Ms Henshaw enjoyed a successful career in the swimming pool, representing Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Also on the list is Nottinghamshire Fire Chief John Buckley, who received the Queen’s Firefighters Medal after a long career in Nottinghamshire.
An avid fundraiser for the Fire Fighters Charity, which supports fire and rescue service personnel and their families, he has spearheaded the annual Chief’s Challenge which typically raises over £ 10,000.
Elsewhere, the head of the Gedling Borough Council, Cllr John Clarke (Lab), of Carlton, is awarded an MBE for service to local government in Nottinghamshire.
Cllr Clarke has dedicated 40 years of his life to the local community and became a Gedling Councilor in the 1990s. He has served as a County Councilor since 1997 and has headed Gedling City Council for 11 years.
He said: “I am very satisfied with the MBE. It’s good to have this recognition.
“Some people say ‘you do it for yourself’ but I don’t. I have spent 40 years of my life working in the community. Sometimes you are successful and sometimes you are not.
“Because if your bin is not collected on Monday, I’m in trouble. Personally, I’m sick of big political arguments – it’s more about what you can do locally when people leave their homes.
“I want to thank my own family – you don’t work 9 to 5 hours. I gave up a small business as an electrician / builder to become a consultant. It was a bet because in the next election you could be kicked out.
Elsewhere, Barry Horne, of West Bridgford, receives an MBE for his services in inclusion in sport.
The 60-year-old is the CEO of Activity Alliance, a national charity that is “a leading voice for people with disabilities in sport and activity.”
He led the change from focusing on disability sport as a specialist to enable people to be “Active Together” by providing activities for people with disabilities to be active with their friends and family.
Mr. Horne said: “It sounds like a particularly special recognition of the work we do. I’m delighted, it’s just fantastic news.
“I hear directly from the people who benefit from our work and you can see the difference it makes in their lives.
“I am fortunate to work with great people and spend time with communities that have benefited from our work.
“It makes me really proud because it’s an approach because I hope we will see a lot more in the future.
“It will be a particularly important legacy for me. “