Sports leader and funeral director among York residents earning New Year’s Honours

30 Dec 2020 @ 10.33 pm
| News

A York councillor and funeral director is one of many city residents to be included in this year’s New Year’s Honours list.

Cllr Martin Rowley, school governor, funeral director and Conservative councillor for Osbaldwick and Derwent Ward, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in York, recognising 27 years as a school governor. 

Mr Rowley is a school governor at St Aelred’s RC Primary School and Archbishop Holgate’s School.

Another York honours recipient is Nick Rust, the outgoing chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, receives an OBE for services to the sport.

He spent nearly six years leading racing’s governing body and regulator.

During his tenure, he has dealt with a range of issues – including improvements to horse welfare and, this year, charting a pathway through the coronavirus pandemic which halted racing’s calendar for two months in spring and early summer.

Andy Roberts, originally from Badger Hill in York, receives an MBE for services to vulnerable children in Northeast Brazil. He set up ReVive International to help victims of child prostitution, with funding from St Michael le Belfrey Church in York among others.

Andy Roberts. Photograph: YouTube

Further contributions of York residents have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list,  including:

  • Shirley Collier MBE – Chair of Governors, York College. For services to Further Education
  • Sarah Joyce BEM – Superintendent Optometrist, Asda Supermarkets Ltd. For services to Primary Optical Care during the Covid-19 Response
  • Alexander Mayfield MBE – Supply Chain and Operations Director, Brakes. For services to the Food Supply Chain and to the Vulnerable during the Covid-19 Response
  • Rachel and Nigel Poulton MBE – Foster Carers, City of York Council. For services to Fostering, particularly during the Covid-19 Response
  • David Brown BEM – For services to the community in York
  • Mary Chapman BEM – Founder, Nuzzlets Charity, York. For services to Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

‘Shocked and surprised’

Martin Rowley. Photograph: York Conservatives

Accepting the award, Cllr Rowley said “I was shocked and incredibly surprised to hear from the Cabinet Office that I would be awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List. 

“I have been a school governor for over 27 years, and in that time I have be privileged to work with so many amazing, talented and dedicated Heads, teachers, support staff, governors and parents, and this award is testament to them too.

“Both as a school governor and councillor, I have met many inspirational people who are equally dedicated to community service.  It’s humbling to be recognised and I would like to thank Her Majesty for this recognition, together with all those who have made my time as a school governor so rewarding.”

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:  “We are delighted Martin has been awarded a new year’s honour.   His work with schools, like many volunteer school governors across York, deserves recognition.”

Amanda Hatton, the council’s corporate director of people, said: “Martin thoroughly deserves this award.  His commitment to education in York is outstanding.  I would like to offer my congratulations for this recognition and extend it to all the nominees of honours this year.

”Shirley’s award is extremely well-deserved. Shirley has played a vital role in the success story of York College, giving thousands of young people the skills and experience they need to succeed.”