A nurse on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, an Environment Agency flood hero and a windmill restorer were among the Lincolnshire people honoured in the New Year Honours 2021 list.
A long list of people from across the country were honoured for a variety of achievements, including contribution to the COVID-19 response.
The Cabinet Office publicly announced the full list late in the evening on Wednesday, December 30, but had provided details of three Lincolnshire winners, who The Lincolnite spoke with to get their reaction.
Dr Judith Graham – BEM
Dr Judith Graham, 40, from Scotterthorpe, Gainsborough was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the NHS during the COVID-19 response.
Judith is a consultant psychotherapist who works for a Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire NHS Trust, as well as an Advanced Nurse Consultant.
She has worked in a variety of clinical posts within the NHS for over 17 years and is currently the Director of Psychological Professionals at Rotherham, Doncaster & South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).
During the pandemic, she worked with RDaSH teams to develop an enhanced staff wellbeing programme. She also worked with trust lead psychologists to establish psychological support hubs.
Judith is also a Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Champion and was recently been appointed as a Trustee and Council Member of the Queen’s Nursing Institute.
She will receive her medal in the coming months from a Lord Lieutenant and will attend a future Royal Garden Party, once it is safe to do so.
Judith told The Lincolnite: “It felt really out of the blue and emotional even talking about it (the award). I was very overwhelmed and never thought I’d have something like that.
“I didn’t believe it initially, but then I was really bowled over and honoured and thinking about my whole team and all of the NHS at the moment as we are all working really hard during this pandemic. I am so proud.”
In her spare time Judith, who also cares for her father, made hundreds of face coverings and ear supports for local nursing homes and carers, as well as supporting food and medication drop offs for a high number of highly vulnerable people in her local village.
Deborah Campbell – BEM
Deborah Campbell, 47, who lives just outside Wragby, was awarded a BEM for services to Flood Protection and voluntary service to Young People.
Deborah is a Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, who she has been employed for 21 years and her role is currently focused on the East Coast.
She was on the frontline during the devastating floods in Wainfleet last year, working long hours to warn the community and help set up a multi-agency response. After an already gruelling 12 hour shift on the ground, Deborah spent four-and-a-half hours directing the RAF, using Chinooks, on where and how best to place ballast to stem the flow of water.
She also led responses to the tidal surges of 2013 in Boston and in 2017 in Mablethorpe, Skegness and down to The Wash, but fortunately this second incident didn’t hit the Lincolnshire coast. One of her other proudest moments are projects the Environment Agency complete that “don’t get much of a fanfare” such as the Louth and Horncastle Flood Alleviation scheme.
She said: “I do this job as I care about the community. Sometimes we can take a lot of criticism from people, but we do it because we care and want to make a difference for the community, which Wainfleet showed.
“It is a nice feeling to have all that camaraderie and support from across the Environment Agency and emergency services.
“I accompanied the RAF to start the placement of the sandbags, the Chinook was on its way and the only person available was me. Going up in the RAF helicopter is something I will never forget and is one of my proudest moments.”
On her award, she added: “It was completely out of the blue and wasn’t expected at all. It makes me really proud of what we as an organisation achieve.
“I am proud individually, but my message is this isn’t really recognition for me, it is recognition for all of us that have dealt with all of the incidents, they all do a fantastic job.”
Jon Sass – MBE
Jon Sass, 78, who lives in Nettleton, Market Rasen, was awarded an MBE for services to the Restoration of UK Windmills and Watermills.
Jon was originally brought up in Brigg and moved to Coventry to do a military engineering apprenticeship before returning to Lincolnshire.
He was around 17-years-old when he first got involved in the industry with a voluntary role at Wrawby Windmill near Brigg, while his day job was working in a motor engineering family business in Brigg.
He assisted in the restoration of Wrawby Windmill. The restoration and fundraising began in 1961 before it opened and was fully operational in September 1965.
Between 1978-1983 Jon was invited to go over to Virginia in America to put into commission a replica post mill on the oldest known site of a windmill in North America. His son Gavin was born during their trip, and he also has another son Alex and a daughter called Carla.
He was also a founder member of the Lincolnshire Mills Group (LMG) whose aims were to preserve and maintain mills in the county.
The father-of-three, who has been living in Nettleton for 11 years, still gives advice on windmills and watermills and is now focusing on doing more research and publishing, with his most recent book in 2017 entitled Saundersons Millwrights & Engineers of Louth.
On his award, Jon said: “I was shocked. When my wife Anne mentioned it I thought it was a scam at first, but I am very honoured.
“There are a lot of other people, friends of mine, that could have this honour as well, but it has been a lifetimes enjoyable interest and it is nice that this work has been appreciated.”
Bill Skelly and Kerrin Wilson – Queen’s Police Medal
Lincolnshire Police’s former Chief Constable Bill Skelly and serving Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson will receive the Queen’s Police Medal.
Bill, who retired earlier this month and was replaced by Chris Haward, is commended for investing in the wellbeing of officers and staff at Lincolnshire Police.
He introduced creative and innovative concepts including introduce drones to the force. He also introduced new technology to allow police officers to be out-and-about in their communities for longer, including an investment in mobile data terminals.
At the time of nomination for this honour, Kerrin Wilson was the only female Chief Officer in the UK from an ethnic minority group and is recognised for “inspiring others to greatness” and “placing diversity at the heart of her work”.
ACC Wilson foundeed Supporting Minorities in Lincolnshire through Engagement (SMILE) at Lincolnshire Police, which is also linked to the national body. She is also commended for co-founding GLOW (Greater Lincolnshire Outstanding Women).
She said: “It truly is an honour to receive the Queen’s Policing Medal and I’m delighted that my work has been recognised in this way.
“This proves that efforts across the country to embrace diversity and ensure equal opportunities for all are being noticed, and its important we continue on this path and continue to grow both within policing, and as a society.”
Other Lincolnshire winners
- Andrew George Beet (Mablethorpe) – OBE for services to Law and Order (Lately Police Staff, Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, Home Office)
- Samantha Clayton (Waddingham) – OBE for services to Social Work (Lincolnshire County Council)
- Alan Cowdale (Market Drayton) – OBE for services to Defence (Senior Scientific Adviser, Air and Space Warfare Centre)
- Ellen Thinnesen (Grimsby) – OBE for services to Education (Chief Executive at Sunderland College)
- Gillian Elizabeth Angel (Market Rasen) – BEM for services to RAF Personnel and their families (Community Development Officer at RAF Scampton)
- John Mapletoft (Grantham) – BEM for services to Table Tennis
- Mary Thomas (Cleethorpes) – BEM for charitable services to Maritime Safety (Chair of Cleethorpes Fundraising Branch of the RNLI)
- Janice Lorraine Wilkinson (Grimsby) – BEM for services to Education in North East Lincolnshire (Cover teacher at Willows Primary School)
- Curtis Woodhouse (Hull) – BEM for services to football and boxing (Manager of Gainsborough Trinity Football Club)
- Ella Jane Collins (Springthorpe) – BEM for services to the community during the COVID-19 response (Community Champion, WM Morrisons Supermarkets plc)
See here for the list of winners.