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New Year Honours List, 2022

The much-anticipated New Year Honours List has now been revealed and includes 1,278 inspirational individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in their respective fields, such as the Armed Forces, the sporting arena and even through services to the UK from overseas and internationally.

There is always a lot of media hype around the celebrities who receive honours, but it’s brilliant to see hundreds of our community heroes recognised in the List. These are the ‘every day' people who use their time, skills, and incredible spirit to give back to their fellow humans, professions, industries and communities in one way or another – and often despite their own personal battles.

Honours range from the Companion of Honour and the Order of the Bath, through Knighthoods and Damehoods, to CBEs, OBEs, MBEs, and the BEM.

Who received an Honour?

The statistics show greater diversity amongst the recipients than ever before:

  • 156 people (12.2%) were appointed CBE or higher.
  • 1,122 candidates (87.8%) were selected at OBE, MBE and BEM level, as follows: 253 at OBE, 508 at MBE, 361 at BEM
  • 799 (63%) of all recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities, either in a voluntary or paid capacity.
  • 612 women received honours, accounting for almost half of recipients (47.9%). What’s more, 35.9% of recipients at CBE level and above are women.
  • 15.1% come from ethnic minority backgrounds.
  • 13.3% of the successful candidates are disabled or have a long-term health condition.
  • 25.5% of recipients considered themselves to come from a lower socio-economic background.
  • 3.5% of recipients are LGBT.

Demonstrating that it’s never too early or late in life to make an impact, there are many heart-warming examples of recognition for young and old alike.

At one end of the age spectrum, 11-year-old Tobias Weller – who has cerebral palsy and autism – became the youngest ever recipient of the BEM for his outstanding charity fundraising. Whilst magician, Henry Lewis (below), was appointed MBE at the grand old age of 102 for his work with the Magic Circle.

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Read on for highlights from the 2022 Queen's New Year Honours List and to find out how and why to nominate someone you know for recognition too.

Combatting the Pandemic

Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England and the UK government’s Chief Medical Advisor, was recognised along with Professor Jonathan Van-Tam – Whitty’s deputy – as both men received knighthoods for their tireless work to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Many more medical experts have also been honoured, including Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, and Dr June Raine, head of the vaccines regulator MHRA, who have both been made dames. The Cabinet Office said nearly one in five (19%) of the honours are for Covid-related service.

Community Heroes

Having been inspired to raise money for the North Devon Hospice after they cared for his elderly neighbour before he passed away from cancer, 12-year-old Max Woosey (below) camped outside for almost 640 nights… and has managed to generate the incredible sum of nearly £680,000 for his efforts. He’s now been awarded the British Empire Medal.

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Chrissie Simmons, a longstanding housekeeper from Condover College – a school for people with additional needs, has been appointed an MBE for her efforts during the pandemic after she implemented new measures which helped keep residents and staff safe. Despite evidence that people with learning difficulties were “extremely vulnerable” to the effects of Covid-19, the college experienced no deaths whatsoever.

Abeda Suleman Vorajee came to England from Pakistan when she was 16 and has spent decades working to improve community understanding. She became a school governor in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in her 20s and went on to promote links between different communities in the area with a particular focus on empowering young ladies and supporting women from all backgrounds. She has also been appointed an MBE. Demonstrating true altruism, charity workers who have supported various vulnerable groups throughout the pandemic were recognised.

Bridget Stratford from Newcastle University received a BEM for her services to refugees and asylum seekers, while Lisa Powis also received an award as the founder of the charity ‘Painting Our World in Silver’, which has helped tackle the issue of loneliness throughout the pandemic.

Other people recognised for serving their local area include Ifran Shah who helped young people and the community in Redbridge, London, and Mohammed Miah for his charitable fundraising work in Oldham. Although 2021 has not been an easy year, these individuals went the extra mile in a bid to help residents.

Business Leaders & Entrepreneurial Excellence

Among those recognised for their contributions to business are Steve Murrells, the Co-op Group’s Chief Executive, and Roger Burnley, who stepped down as Chief Executive of Asda in last year. Both have been made CBEs after being honoured for services to the food supply chain amidst staff shortages, pandemic restrictions and global disruption.

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Bina Mehta, KPMG UK’s chair (above), was recognised with an OBE “for services to trade and investments in the UK and female entrepreneurs”, while former HS2 chair Douglas Oakervee has been awarded a knighthood for services to transport and infrastructure delivery. Gary Jordan – chairman of the Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 Business Club – has been awarded an MBE for services to the economy and community of Mansfield and Ashfield.

In terms of furthering regional business activity, there were honours for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive, Liz Cameron, who received a CBE for services to the promotion of Scottish and UK international trade, and Lesley Moody, President of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, who was appointed OBE for services to business and to the community in the North East.

Sporting Honours

With the rescheduled Olympics and Paralympics taking place last summer in Tokyo, a number of our talented athletes were honoured for their incredible performances in Japan. Hugely decorated cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny (below) – guests at the 2021 Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards – were made a knight and a dame, and Tom Daley received an OBE for services to “diving, LGBTQ+ rights and charity”.

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There were OBEs for Paralympians Hannah Cockcroft, Kadeena Cox and Hannah Russell, while gold medal-winning Olympians Jonathan Brownlee (Triathlon) and Hannah Mills (Sailing) were awarded the MBE and OBE respectively. After becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title, Adam Peaty was appointed OBE.

The newly crowned 2021 Sports Personality of the Year, Emma Raducanu, made it an unforgettable few months by receiving an MBE following her extraordinary US Open tennis triumph.

Promoting Sustainability

As green processes and sustainability become more important than ever, it was great to see a number of prominent figures receive recognition for their exceptional work in this sphere. Professor Myles Allen (below), the University of Oxford’s professor of geosystem science (and the first UK scientist who demonstrated the need for a global transition to net-zero emissions in 2006) is now a CBE. In addition to teaching at Oxford, he has written for a range of groundbreaking reports, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on 1.5C.

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Elsewhere, an OBE was awarded to the Head of Regulatory Affairs at RWE Renewables, Zoe Keeton, who has amassed over 20 years’ experience in the UK’s renewable energy sector, and another was given to National Grid’s Head of Futures Dr Catherine McClay.

We would love to highlight the individual achievements of everyone on this year’s Honours List but hopefully this has provided an insightful summary.

The Power of Recognition

So what can this kind of recognition really do?

Recognition conveys appreciation. It says thank you. It shows gratitude. It builds relationships. It inspires innovation. And ultimately, it drives people forward with more vigour than ever to do even more good in the world.

We see the impact of recognition in the workplace all the time – a study revealed that employees who are given recognition show:

26% increase in engagement
22% increase in effectiveness
33% increase in innovation


88% of employees who were recognised for their contribution said they were more motivated and inspired to do even better work. It's not about doing something just to get recognised, it's about being altruistic and using what you can to make a change and have an impact.

Now It’s Your Turn

To ensure that exceptional individuals in the UK continue to be recognised for their respective efforts, it’s vital to nominate people we know for the impact they have made on society.

Should you have any questions or would like to discover more about how we can support you to get someone special the recognition they deserve, simply get in touch here.

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