Sheffield teacher honoured for changing lives

'Amazing honour': Sheffield teacher Keith Brooks, back right, with orphaned youngsters at a leprosy colony in Nepal.
'Amazing honour': Sheffield teacher Keith Brooks, back right, with orphaned youngsters at a leprosy colony in Nepal.
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A SHEFFIELD teacher instrumental in changing the fortunes of poor youngsters has been recognised with a New Year Honour.

Keith Brooks, head of sixth form at Birkdale School, Broomhill, has been appointed an MBE in recognition of his charity work in Nepal.

He has helped raise more than £200,000 for projects in Kathmandu, the biggest of which was saving a poor village’s school from closure and rebuilding it.

Several pupils have now attended university and the school is self-sufficient.

Keith said: “It is an amazing honour and one I really feel I can only accept on behalf of many others.

“We’ve been working in Nepal for 13 years, ever since I took a group to teach in some of the poorer schools on the edge of the Kathmandu valley.

“Since then, I estimate we have taken nearly 400 students, parents and others to Nepal and have raised £200,000 for projects we have been involved in over there.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge the wonderful help I have received from very many colleagues and friends over the years, especially Mike Lock in Nepal and my colleague Steve Kenyon.”

Other schemes in Nepal have included helping building a church and training centre in a leprosy colony.

Sergeant Major Peter Saul, of Bessecar, Doncaster, was given the Royal Victorian Medal (silver) for his work with the The Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard since 1988.

The 67-year-old has performed the role – to accompany the sovereign at state services, events and ceremonies – since leaving the Army.

He said: “It is brilliant to be honoured.

“It’s a nice job, this year I was on duty at St Paul’s Cathedral when the Queen read the statement to the nation for her Jubilee year.”

And Sheffield heptathlete Jessica Ennis, speaking exclusively to The Star, told of her pride at being appointed a CBE after winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics.

She said: “It’s a huge honour.

“What an amazing ending to a fantastic year.”