Pride and delight in New Year’s Honours

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A community centre manager joined two professors in receiving New Year’s honours.

Maureen Richardson received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to the community in Halton.

Maureen, who has been a fund-raiser at The Centre @Halton for 10 years and manager for six months, said: “I was really surprised and excited to hear the news. I’m really proud of The Centre and all the things we have achieved for our community.

“It’s one thing to have ideas but they couldn’t have been fulfilled without the support of our committee, volunteers and community.

“It is a great place to be involved in. I’m looking forward to completing the kitchen which is the final element of our original project.”

Lancaster University’s Prof Linda Woodhead has been awarded an MBE for her services to Higher Education.

The Professor of Sociology of Religion has been directing the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme since 2007. The £12m research investment embraces 75 separate projects.

Prof Woodhead was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and her first job was as lecturer at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford. She came to Lancaster, liked it, and has been there ever since.

Another professor, Brian Gates from Capernwray, was also recognised with an MBE for his services to interfaith relations and to the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

Prof Gates is well-known as a former head of religious studies at St Martin’s College in Lancaster, now the University of Cumbria.

The Religious Education Council of England and Wales was established in 1973 to represent the collective interests of a wide variety of professional associations and faith communities in deepening and strengthening provision for Religious Education.

Meanwhile, it has been announced by The Queen that the volunteer Coastguard Rescue Service which is part of Her Majesty’s Coastguard has been awarded The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012.

It is a one-off category of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which was established in 2002 as part of the UK honours system and is considered to be the MBE for community voluntary groups.

The volunteers of Morecambe Coastguard Rescue team, who are drawn from the local community and fully trained and equipped to carry out search and rescue operations are among 3,500 volunteers in 365 Coastguard Rescue Teams strategically located around the coast.

Chief Coastguard, Peter Dymond, said: “I am delighted that the Coastguard Rescue Service has received this award which is a just reward and recognition for our volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers.”