South Yorkshire people receive awards in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Matthew Mowat has received a BEM in the Queen's Birthday Honours

Matthew Mowat has received a BEM in the Queen's Birthday Honours

People from all walks of life across South Yorkshire have been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Former boxer Matthew Mowat received the British Empire Medal for service to boxing in the community in Sheffield.

Iffat Hameed has been awarded an MBE

Iffat Hameed has been awarded an MBE

Matthew, who was involved in the Strangeways Prison riots in 1990, says his life was turned around through boxing and his ‘incredible’ coach Glyn Rhodes.

He had two stints fighting professionally before joining Sheffield Boxing Centre in 1997, as a voluntary trainer willingly giving his time to train and help others.

These days, the centre remains a much needed beacon of hope to many disadvantaged youngsters in the city, training more than 120 young people.

Matthew, of Gleadless, is always on hand for any of the young children to speak to. He also devotes many hours of his time and skills to raising funds for charity through his coaching and refereeing.

Jayne Senior

Jayne Senior

He said: “I’ve had a colourful past, but I can use my own experience to guide the kids the right way.”

Matthew’s main charity project is the annual Charity Fight Night which has raised £36,000 for Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital since the series began in 2007.

He remains a dedicated volunteer at Sheffield Boxing Centre, offering young people the opportunity to experience belonging to a community that teaches discipline and respect and providing the encouragement and tools to create healthy bodies and healthy minds.

Iffat Hameed, aged 58, who was awarded the MBE for services to education and the community in Sheffield, has been honoured for being an exemplary role model to young Asian girls in Sheffield, who often hail from deprived backgrounds.

Dan Porter

Dan Porter

Through her guidance and support as a teacher, many of these young women have gone into higher education, achieving rewarding careers such as teaching, medicine, law and dentistry.

Iffat, of Millhouses, became Sheffield’s first female Muslim magistrate in 1998 and has also worked voluntarily for BBC Radio Sheffield Asian Network service and is often heard talking about education, self-respect and the need to progress in the community.

The mum-of-two, who has Pakistani heritage, is well known for her charitable work, and joined Soroptimist International Charity in 2011.

Iffat, who has two grandchildren, said: “I am truly humbled that my life’s work has been recognised. It was a big shock when I found out, but I am so happy.”

Bhanu Ramaswamy, who has been awarded an OBE for for services to physiotherapy in Sheffield

Bhanu Ramaswamy, who has been awarded an OBE for for services to physiotherapy in Sheffield

After becoming a teacher King Edward VII School in 1996, Iffat decided more had to be done to inspire Asian girls.

She said: “I was very surprised that a lot of the young women were not even considering higher education, even though they were capable of doing so.

“It’s partly a cultural thing, and I’m pleased to say that things have progressed a lot since I started teaching in 1988.”

As a counsellor and mentor to the school’s female Muslim students, she has delivered numerous courses relating to current affairs.

Iffat said: “I just hope that I can be an example to the women of what can be achieved.”

The woman who blew the whistle on the Rotherham abuse scandal has been awarded an MBE.

Youth worker Jayne Senior said it was ‘bittersweet’ to be given the honour for services to child protection in Rotherham after she helped bring the widespread sexual exploitation of children in the town to light.

Mrs Senior said: “I’m pleased and honoured and really grateful but I wish it was for something else.

“I hope I can use it to try to continue raising awareness about these issues, which are happening all over the place.

“I didn’t do this for an accolade or any award. But I suppose it is a vindication that not only myself but the girls were telling the truth about what was happening.

“Now the world knows the truth.”

Mrs Senior worked for the Risky Business youth project in Rotherham during the period in which girls in the town were being groomed, raped, trafficked, and forced into prostitution on a huge scale.

Risky Business repeatedly tried to alert authorities to what was happening but was largely ignored and eventually closed down.

Mrs Senior said: “In two years I’ve gone from being investigated and being told I’m making things up, lying and exaggerating, to Alexis Jay’s report vindicating me and to Louise Casey’s report giving me my reputation back.

“It’s recognition that not only were we always telling the truth but, also, that the children were always telling the truth.”

Louise Casey, director general of the Department for Communities and Local Government, was made a dame. Ms Casey published a damning report on Rotherham Council’s response to the child sexual exploitation scandal which resulted in the resignation of the entire council cabinet and Government commissioners being brought in to run the local authority.

Andrew Child, 61, who received the MBE for services to education in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, has devoted countless hours to education in his role as a governor of High Storrs School in Sheffield.

He was on the governing board for 17 years, chairing it for 10. And in his role as a national leader of governance, he has spread his expertise far and wide.

“It’s rare that governors get recognised for the work we do, so on behalf of others it’s great to have it,” he said of his MBE. “I’m delighted.”

Andrew, from Brincliffe, got involved in his sons’ school because he was curious to see how it operated, and how he could help. He then rose through the ranks from being a ‘back bencher’ to chair of governors.

He has acted as an advisor across South Yorkshire for over a decade.

“It’s about helping people, especially chairs of governors who often get elected when no-one else wants to do it,” he said. “They are a bit like a meerkat wondering what to do next.

“But having done it for so long I wanted to share my knowledge.”

Andrew was also part of the interim executive board appointed at Abbey Special School in Rotherham when it was placed into special measures late 2014. Eighteen months later Ofsted inspectors rated the school as good, with clear reference to the work of the board.

Danny Porter, who receives the MBE for services to higher education and charity, was aged 32 when he had to have his brain lifted out of his skull during a 20-hour operation to remove a rare form of cancer known as adenoid cystic carcinoma, located behind his right cheekbone.

Danny lost his right eye, cheekbone and upper palette, but went back to work as head of sport services at Sheffield Hallam University and focused on spending time with sons Joe and Ben, and wife Kerry.

Inspired by the treatment he received, the former rugby plater set up the Danny Porter foundation, which has so far raised more than £100,000 for cancer and neurocare.

Ten years later the cancer returned - and this time it was inoperable. There was a possible solution in the form of neutron/ion beam technology at Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany. The NHS agreed to fund the medical costs, so Danny turned to his friends and family to ask for help raising the money for travel and accommodation. He smashed his £10,000 target, raising £22,448, and underwent about a month of treatment last summer.

Danny was one of three inspirational sporting champions from Sheffield selected by Sheffield Hallam to carry the Olympic torch when it came through the city in 2012.

Bhanu Ramaswamy has been awarded the OBE for services to physiotherapy in Sheffield

The 50-year-old, who trained as a physiotherapist, has been honoured with the MBE for her work with people with Parkinson’s.

Bhanu said: “I’m so excited. I thought it was a prank from one of my friends at first so I didn’t respond to the letter for about two weeks.

“I turned 50 this year so it was like a big birthday present and I can’t wait to tell everyone about it.”

Bhanu originally worked for the NHS but left to work as an independent physiotherapy consultant and volunteer.

She said: “After I left the NHS I started seeing that there were other ways of championing people with Parkinson’s and bringing out their potential and zest for life.”

For more than 15 years Bhanu has helped co-ordinate and run exercise classes for people with the condition at the Sheffield branch of Parkinson’s UK.

She said: “It’s all about friendship and support. I have worked hard, but it has been alongside other people.”

Bhanu said the highlight of her career was being nominated to carry the Olympic Torch through the city in 2012, calling it the ‘pinnacle’ of her achievements.

Brian Blessed, from Mexborough, has been awarded the OBE for services to the arts and charity.

The 79-year-old actor said: “This is a complete surprise. I am absolutely delighted.

“It is marvellous that the son of a Yorkshire coal miner should be given such an honour.

“A huge thank you to all of the people that nominated me.”

John Hallows, 78, who received the British Empire Medal has devoted more than 40 years of voluntary service to the safety of our most vulnerable people and communities.

He has been a tireless ambassador in helping local people build and sustain community safety networks.

John has been instrumental in setting up more than 900 Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Barnsley, encouraging over 7,000 local people to become active members.

Although he retired from paid work he continues to support more than 600 Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Barnsley.

Two senior civil servants based at a soon-to-be-closed Government office in Sheffield have both been awarded OBEs.

Alyson Fender and Bobbie McClelland have been honoured for their work at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is controversially shutting its Sheffield base by 2018 as part of Government cutbacks.

Mrs Fender, who retired last year, was head of the higher education ministerial briefing team.

Mrs McClelland, deputy director of reforming further education provision, said: “I was surprised and delighted to receive this award, which is recognition of the contribution made by all those I have worked with to support Further Education.”

Champion climber Shauna Coxsey has been awarded an MBE for her incredible sporting achievements.

The 23-year-old, who was born in Runcorn, splits her time between Sheffield and Liverpool as she trains six days a week.

Joan Howarth, a costume-maker from Sheffield, was given the British Emprie Medal for service to costuming in amateur dramatics.

Enid Teasdale, former chair of governers at Barnsley College, has been awarded the OBE for services to education in South Yorkshire.

John Bostwick has been awarded the MBE for services to education and the community in Barnsley and charitable services to the Fire Service Benevolent Fund.

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