Tue, 07 Jan 2020
THOSE from West Berkshire – and others with a connection to the district – have been recognised in the New Year Honours List.
Among them was the chief executive of the NHS Simon Stevens, who was given a knighthood.
Sir Simon moved to Newbury with his parents at the age of 11, and attended sixth form at St Bartholomew’s School, where he was head boy in 1983/84.
He went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford, and from there started his 26-year career in the health service as a graduate trainee in the NHS.
His parents have lived in Newbury for more than 40 years.
In an exclusive interview with the Newbury Weekly News in 2015, Mr Stevens described his upbringing in Newbury as “a very happy time in my life”.
In a statement, the Cabinet Office said: “Simon Stevens is an outstanding chief executive of the English National Health Service, successfully leading it over the past six years through the most economically challenging period in its history.
“His impact has been immense, with enduring benefits for patients, the public and for taxpayers.”
Lambourn racehorse trainer trainer Nicky Henderson his contribution to the sport.
Mr Henderson is a five-time champion trainer and has worked with horses since 1978.
Just this Christmas, he secured his 11th win in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase.
His father, Major Johnny Henderson, was himself appointed an OBE in 1985.
Mr Henderson tweeted last week: “Thank you all very much for the extremely kind messages I’ve received since being awarded an OBE. I am overwhelmed.
“It is obviously a tremendous honour, not just for me, but us all at Seven Barrows and I am hugely grateful.”
Meanwhile, a Wash Common woman who has devoted more than 30 years of her life to improving services for disabled people has been honoured with an MBE.
Linda Ling, 69, spent 25 years at Gowrings Mobility – a company which produces wheelchair accessible vehicles – working her way up from sales administrator to managing director, until her departure in 2008.
She then set up the Accessible Motor Company – now trading as Fleximobility – with her business partner Barry Smith and she has also worked for the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Convertors Association (WAVCA) for the past 14 years, first as chairman and then as secretary general.
Mrs Ling also played a key role in the establishment of the OECVA – the trade association for European WAV converters – in 2014, and she acts as an expert witness to the courts and advises and reports on the optimum solutions for all types of personal mobility needs and requirements.
Mrs Ling said: “I was very surprised and thrilled when I heard of my MBE honour.
“The worst bit was keeping the secret from my family and friends for six weeks. I am very grateful to my husband Ken for supporting me all these years when I’ve been dashing around with several jobs at a time.
“In everything I do I try to put the needs of the wheelchair user first. A wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) can make a huge difference to life of not only the wheelchair user, but everyone around them.
“It is always the simple little trips that make the most difference – the trips that most of us take for granted. A well specified WAV can make going out so much easier again.
“I would like to dedicate this award to my mum, to the memory of my grandson Harry Scott, and to all carers paid or unpaid.”
Police officers covering West Berkshire have also been recognised in the New Year Honours List.
Former neighbourhood inspector with Thames Valley Police, Inspector Chris Ward, was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community in West Berkshire.
Insp Ward served as neighbourhood inspector for Thatcham before moving to cover Pangbourne and Burghfield.
Insp Ward joins the former chief constable of Thames Valley Police, Francis Habgood, who was knighted for his services to policing.
Sir Francis led the force to earn an outstanding rating for efficiency in 2017 from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
Under his command the force dealt with two royal weddings and the visit of President Trump.