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Celebrations across Craven at New Year’s Honours List announcements
9:00am Thursday 3rd January 2013 in News
Arncliffe woman Heather Hancock was one of several Craven people recognised in the New Year’s honours list.
She has been appointed a lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order for her services to the royal family and, in particular, her work as a trustee for the Prince’s Trust.
Mrs Hancock has been a trustee for more than a decade and also chairs the trust’s Yorkshire and Humber Council and Audit Committee.
And she was instrumental in HRH The Prince of Wales’ Rural Revival Initiative, which began more than ten years ago and led to the creation of a very successful business start-up programme for young people in the Yorkshire Dales.
The Royal Victorian Order was created by Queen Victoria and is in the personal gift of The Queen.
Mrs Hancock, who is a managing partner of Deloitte in the UK, said: “It has been a privilege to support a charity as impressive and worthwhile as the Prince’s Trust, over so many years. In my time with the trust, it has helped more than half a million young people to find their way to employment or education. I feel very honoured and humbled to be recognised by the Queen for playing a very small part in that achievement.”
Also honoured was Michael Hirst, of Embsay, who transformed a secondary special school, leading it to achieve sports college status in 2007.
Mr Hirst, who was head of Ravenscliffe High in Halifax for 31 years until he retired in August 2011, was made an OBE.
Mr Hirst, who plays the guitar and is a member of local band Undercover, extended the curriculum to include music and performance.
“I have been fortunate to work alongside many dedicated and committed members of staff and have been supported by hard working governors who have given freely of their time,” he said.
In his early career he worked as deputy head at Netherside Hall School, Threshfield.
He is currently chairman of the board of directors at Skipton Golf Club Ltd and a director/consultant at SongUnite.
Another headteacher who lives in Skipton was also awarded an OBE for services to education.
Eileen Bleasdale has guided Laneshaw Bridge Primary School to become one of the top performing primaries in the country.
County Coun Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools, said: “Eileen is an outstanding headteacher and this is a very well-deserved accolade. Her school, in a remote part of East Lancashire, is an exemplary educational establishment.”
Lothersdale’s two-time Paralympic gold medallist Danielle Brown was made an MBE for services to archery.
Danielle, 24, earned her second successive Paralympic gold medal in the women’s compound final at the London 2012 Games and has won three Paralympic world championship titles since 2007.
But Danielle also has a good track record in able-bodied archery, which she demonstrated when she won a silver medal at this year’s World Cup Grand Final in Tokyo.
Danielle told Archery GB: “This is such a wonderful honour and a fantastic way to end 2012. Winning a second Paralympic Games gold medal was a tremendous thrill and to follow that with a silver medal at the World Cup Grand Final in Tokyo weeks later was amazing. But to be told I was featuring in the New Year Honours List has just blown me away.”
There were also celebrations in Silsden after the former Lord Mayor of London, David Wootton, was awarded a Knight Batchelor for services to legal business, charity and the city of London.
His father, James Wootton, and stepmother Mona live in the South Craven town.