Tourism innovators, charity leaders, fertility experts and sports coaches are among those from across South Yorkshire honoured by the Queen today.
The man who orchestrated Yorkshire’s successful Tour De France – which brought tens of thousands of people to Sheffield – has been knighted.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to tourism and delivering the opening stages of the famous bike race, known as the Grand Départ.
About 380,000 people lined the 22-mile route through Sheffield – and it is estimated the direct economic benefit to the city was at least £11 million.
Sir Gary said: “I am honoured, delighted and quite frankly stunned.
“In many ways this award is for the thousands of Yorkshire businesses across the county and the millions who turned out to make the Grand Départ one of the most memorable days in the county’s history, and a weekend I will never forget.””
In Sheffield, the former chairman of the city’s RSPCA branch has been made an MBE after raising a quarter of a million pounds.
Kathryn Whitlam, who has volunteered at the RSPCA for more than 20 years, said: “It’s wonderful. I’m speechless and highly delighted.”
The 61-year-old, who joined the committee in 1994 after giving up her job as a solicitor, said: “I’ve done a lot of fundraising. I organise a dinner dance, autumn lunch and have been doing a coffee morning for years. I must have raised about a quarter of a million pounds over the years.”
Sheffield infertility expert Rachel Cutting has helped to make many families complete and is now ‘living in a dream’ of her own after being made an MBE.
The 42-year-old principal embryologist has worked in assisted conception in Sheffield since 1994 and has helped change the way IVF treatment is carried out.
She said: “It was quite a shock, i’m living in a dream and I’m still smiling.
“I’m a very family orientated person and when IVF does work and you see the families it makes, it is so special.”
Sports coach Peter Kelly, a teaching assistant at Sheffield’s Fir Vale School, has dedicated his life to teaching young people. He has been recognised for services to physical education with a British Empire Medal.
The 54-year-old, a former teacher at Sheffield’s now-closed Abbeydale Grange School, set up the Arrows basketball club in Killamarsh, where he lives.
He said: “It’s humbling to be recognised in this way.
“I’m just a normal person doing what I love. For me the best thing is seeing children coming to our sessions whose dads once came as kids to train.”
Helen Milner, chief executive of Sheffield-based Tinder Foundation, has been made an OBE for services to digital inclusion – the foundation has helped more than 1.5 million people gain basic online skills.
She said: “It’s a huge honour and recognises the hard work and impact Tinder and our incredible UK online centres network has had.”
In Barnsley, David Horsfall has been made an MBE for services to the community after more than 20 years with Hunshelf Parish Council.
The parish clerk said: “It’s a big honour and I’m stunned.”
A ‘surprised and delighted’ Prof Jonathan Nicholl, dean for Sheffield University’s School for Health and Related Research, has been made a CBE for services to health research.
He said: “I’ve lived in and worked in Sheffield since the early 1980s and have enjoyed every minute of it.”
In Rotherham, headteacher John Henderson has been made an OBE for services to education. He is executive headteacher at four primary schools as part of the White Woods Multi Academy Trust.
Rotherham charity campaigner Shaun Webster has been made an MBE for his services to people with learning disabilities with the group CHANGE, while Margaret Sewell has been made an MBE for voluntary service to the Women’s Institute in Rotherham.
Deborah Egan, a director of Connect The Dots and Welcome to Yorkshire, as well as a board member of the Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership, has been made a CBE for services to the creative and digital industry.
Janet Swift has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to welfare and voluntary service to Rotherham Neuro Support Group, while Bryan Ward, Yorkshire Ambulance Service head of education and standards, has been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal for exceptional service.
And Stephen Hilditch has been made an MBE for his services to mountain rescue in the Peak District and to Scouting.