Queen's New Year Honours List 2022 sees local residents recognised for their contributions
A number of local residents have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, which has been released this evening (Friday).
Honours have this year been awarded to people championing mental health in young people, to those working in education, law enforcement and public service.
Dr Faye Catherine Smith, a materials specialist at the department for international trade and an independent consultant from Newbury, has been appointed an OBE for her public service.
Rachel Elizabeth Waller, the co-founder and former head of fundraising at Thatcham-based Charlie Waller Trust, was also appointed an OBE for services to mental health in young people.
The trust was set up to provide support to young people, educators, parents and employers and offer practical tools and strategies to look after their mental health.
It was established by Bradfield-based Lady Waller and her husband Sir Mark after the death of their son Charlie.
The 28-year-old took his own life in 1997 after suffering from depression.
The family of the advertising executive from Fulham set out to increase awareness of, and remove the stigma attached to, mental illness.
The charity received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for its work in raising the profile of mental illness in 2016.
Former English teacher Joyce Sylvia Ward (pictured above), the chairwoman of the resident partnership board at Sovereign Housing, has been appointed an MBE, for her services to social housing.
Ms Ward, who lives just outside Wantage, is also a founding member of the National Housing Federation’s tenant advisory panel.
She said: “When I first received the letter I thought it was a scam! But once the news had sunk in, I was overjoyed. I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve carried out at Sovereign over the years, especially my input into the resident conferences. It’s my strong belief that all residents can find a part to play, and a voice to be heard.
“I’m a person who likes to keep busy. So, when I retired in 2009 after 45 years as an English teacher, I was rather alarmed at the thought of doing nothing with my days.
“After I moved into my new home I thought – this is different. How does this work? How do decisions get made about the place that I am living? Who’s in charge?’ and so that’s how I decided to get involved. Sovereign encourage resident involvement in decision making and I have enjoyed offering my views from the get-go.”
Ms Ward said she sees herself as a critical friend – not shy about holding the board and executive to account, but acting as a link between the organisation and other residents.
Sovereign CEO Mark Washer said: "We share the Government’s vision that anyone who lives in social housing should be treated with respect and dignity and we have worked hard to give more prominence to residents’ perspectives in how we deliver our services. Joyce has been absolutely instrumental in making this happen.
“At Sovereign, her leadership brought together governance, scrutiny and community action, linking them so that our residents can have their say on the things that matter to their quality of life, in an innovative and sector award-winning resident engagement structure. This ensures that residents actively co-create the services we offer.”
Tilehurst-based Rebecca Jayne Jefferies, head of human resources and learning and development at the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, has been awarded the BEM for services to Fire and Rescue.
Nicola Maureen Woodward also receives the same honour for services to the community in Purley-on-Thames, while Peter Edward Deck, from Pewsey, was awarded the BEM for services to the community in Pewsey.
Angela Barry, a school improvement partner and leadership development consultant, from Harwell, was also appointed an OBE for services to education.
Richard Mills has also been appointed an MBE for services to law enforcement.