Six members of the Mid Sussex community have been honoured for their dedication in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Nicholas Soames, Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex, was knighted for his services to politics.
He was a member of parliament for Crawley from 1983-1997, and has represented Mid Sussex since.
He also served as defence minister from 1994-1997 under John Major.
“It’s a fantastic honour for me and my family and I am very humbled by it, it’s a mark of signal favour,” he said.
“It’s also a mark of how very lucky I am and the close relationship I have with my constituency.
“I’ve had this relationship for over 30 years now first in Crawley and now for 16 years in Mid Sussex.”
Tony Wilson. 54, from Cuckfield, project director for the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre, British Museum, has been awarded an MBE for services to museums.
He said that leading the project to build the new centre at the British Museum has been a complicated one with the huge task of avoiding interrupting the museum’s work, visitors or any of the priceless objects surrounding the building.
Mr Wilson said he thought someone at the museum must have nominated him for the honour but he did not know who.
He said: “It’s an amazing feeling because it’s something I could never have contemplated. There are people awarded honours for lifetime achievements and in my case it was a project that has taken the last 6.5 years of my life but I would never have dreamt of achieving an acknowledgment in this way so I was very delighted and honoured indeed.”
Dorothy Lazenby, of Bolnore, has been awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for voluntary service to blind and partially sighted People in Mid-Sussex.
Mrs Lazenby, 83, has been leader of a lunch club for visually impaired people in Hassocks and Clayton, for the past 24 years.
The club, run by the charity 4SIGHT, meets in St Francis church hall and offers support and companionship for people from a wide catchment, including Burgess Hill and Hurstpierpoint.
Blind and partially sighted members are picked up by car and taken to the club and offered lunch.
Mrs Lazenby said she accepted the medal in the hope it would help boost publicity for the charity and clubs.
She said: “People have been very nice congratulating me and I’m very pleased for the club because 4SIGHT need publicity otherwise people with poor sight never seem to find out about us.”
She added that any support from the community ‘spurs her on’ in what she does.
She said: “Two years ago we had the cuts.
“We were very concerned when we thought the Hassocks one would have to fold, the community has been great.”
Kay Yeowart, 53, who lives in North Chailey, has been recognised with an MBE for her personal contribution to setting up the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA UK).
PHA UK provides information, support and advice to people with the rare heart and lung condition, pulmonary hypertension.
It was set up in 2000 by a small team of volunteers – patients, family members and health professionals – and Kay ran the charity from her front room.
Kay, whose son Lewis has pulmonary hypertension, said: “At first we used to run the association from my home. I organised the meetings of trustees; wrote, printed off and posted out newsletters and answered the helpline from here.
“Setting up PHA UK involved a tremendous amount of effort by a small group of volunteers before we were able to take on our charity’s national offices in South Yorkshire.
“I’m proud to have been part of that and I’d like to accept this honour for the charity as a whole.”
Kay, is still a trustee and secretary of PHA UK.
Over the last 15 years she has petitioned Parliament about the funding of drugs for PH, visited Downing Street to raise awareness of PH and spoken at international medical conferences.
Michael Edwin Hurn. from Lindfield, director of project sponsorship at HS2 Ltd. has been honoured with a CBE for services to the rail industry.
Mr Mallalieu. from Haywards Heath, head of the Afghanistan Department at the Department for International Development (DFID), has won a CBE for services to international development.
Mr Mallalieu has been head of DFID Afghanistan since December 2012.
Prior to this he was head of DFID South Sudan (2010-2012), head of the DFID Africa Directorate in London (2006-2010), head of DFID Nepal (2004-2006) and head of DFID South East Asia (2000-2004), based in Thailand.
He has also served in Kenya and Malawi, as well as in Pakistan on secondment to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Elizabeth Peel was awarded a BEM for voluntary services to the community.
She is chairman of the Community Partnership at The Yews in Haywards Heath, and has completed voluntary work for 60 years.
After receiving the award, she said: “It was a surprise, very much a surprise, it’s good that they’ve recognised this very important work, because quite a lot of the time people don’t know it’s happening.”
The organisation runs 28 groups working with people with special needs, one of which is the April Club for people with physical disabilities which she has run this since 1989. “We meet once a week, we have outings, speakers, lunches and since millennium year we have had an annual holiday and very much enjoyed it,” she said.
“We need to keep raising money to pay for it, it’s hard work making sure there’s enough money.”
Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org