Two people from Lincoln and a councillor from Spalding were among those named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 list.
People from across the country were honoured for a variety of achievements, including contribution to the COVID-19 response.
Steve Coupe and Steph Douglas from Lincoln, and Councillor Angela Porter from Spalding, were all awarded with an MBE.
Steve Coupe – MBE
Steve Coupe, 72, who lives in Lincoln, was awarded an MBE for his services to charitable fundraising and voluntary work.
Steve served in the Royal Air Force for over 40 years, including as a Training Flight Sergeant for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment at RAF Waddington. He also took up a post with a reserve squadron at RAF Waddington between 1994 and 2009.
Steve, who was born in Essex and has lived in Lincoln since 1985, has raised over £80,000 for charity through numerous individual and team endurance events.
He started his fundraising in Germany in the 1970s and has raised money in locations such as Kuwait, as well as across England, including in Lincoln. This has included around 30 marathons, a trek in Nepal, a freedom trail from France to Spain and a tandem sky dive.
He raised money for charities and organisations including Cancer Research, Royal British Legion, Children’s Ward at Lincoln County Hospital, St Barnabas, The Gurkha Welfare Trust, Children with Leukaemia, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and The Ethan Maull Foundation.
When asked about being awarded with an MBE, Steve told The Lincolnite: “It’s an honour. A person said about nominating me back in 2019 and I thought nothing more of it at the time and was surprised to get the email recently, I am proud. I won’t be celebrating just yet though due to health reasons.”
“I wanted to put my body on the line for charity and I just got on and did it, but it’s about the people that sponsored me who deserve the thanks as well.”
Steve was also previously employed as a Housing Officer for the MoD looking after families living in Service Families Accommodation in the Lincolnshire area.
The casework he is still doing for the Royal British Legion sees him visit veterans, assess their needs and make recommendations to help improve they standard of life.
He has supported over 100 beneficiaries, whether that is carrying out jobs in his spare time, assisting with the delivery of furniture and painting for veterans in poor health, or helping with financial issues. He has also been heavily involved in the National Health Walks programme as a volunteer walk leader for City of Lincoln Council.
Steph Douglas, 63, who was born in Cleethorpes and lives in Lincoln, was awarded an MBE for services to education.
Steph has dedicated her life to the improvement of the outcomes for children under five and their families. She is currently the Head of Service for Early Years at Doncaster Borough Council.
She has worked in education for over 40 years, starting as a teacher at Frances Olive Anderson Primary School in Lea near Gainsborough in the 1980s. She has also worked at Leasingham Primary School, All Saints Primary School in North Hykeham.
She later became deputy headteacher at Washingborough Primary School before spending 10 years as headteacher at Sturton By Stow Primary School until 2001. She moved to work for Lincolnshire County Council as Head of Service for Early Years, where she stayed until 2014 before moving onto Doncaster Borough Council.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Steph has shown great leadership and support to the early years sector, as well as to colleagues, to ensure that critical services remained open to support children of key workers and vulnerable children.
Steph told The Lincolnite that she felt overcome with emotion after finding out about her award.
She said: “I didn’t know anything about it until the Cabinet Office emailed me. I am quite overcome by it and delighted to have been nominated.
“The work I have always done in Early Years has been my passion since I started teaching and it is nice to be recognised for that work.
“My passion is making a difference to young children. I think that the earlier you provide intervention for families in need, the more successful children will be when they become adults. It’s a wonderful job and working with young children is the most rewarding thing in the world.”
Steph is also part of the stakeholder group for South Yorkshire Futures, a regional partnership led by Sheffield Hallam University with a focus on improving social mobility for all of the area’s children and young people. She also played a key role in securing the funding for the Early Years Outcome Project with a focus on improving Speech and Language Pathways and outcomes.
Angela Porter, 75, is from Spalding and was awarded an MBE for her voluntary services in Lincolnshire. She uses her maiden name of Newton in her professional capacity as a councillor for Lincolnshire County Council and South Holland District Council.
Angela is leader of the independent group at South Holland District Council. She has been part of the council for 48 years, representing the Monkshouse wider area, and also had a spell as chairman for two years. She also previously ran an Estate Agents business called AP Sales with her husband Alan, who she has been with over 30 years and married in 2014.
She represented the Spalding West Ward for Lincolnshire County Council between 1981 and 1993 and stood again in 2013, when she was reelected.
Her voluntary work has now been recognised with a prestigious honour from the Queen. Angela is the chair of the South Holland Parish Voluntary Car Service, which provides transport for people getting to hospitals, surgeries, dentists etc. She has a team of 60 people who have assisted over 10,600 passengers covering 185,000 miles each year.
As chair of Johnson Hospital League of Friends, Angela led on the funding of a new hospital for the district which opened in 2010 and she is also now the president of the Johnson Hospital League of Friends, She is also a Trustee of the Spalding town Husbands, an organisation planning events for local residents.
She helps Spalding in Bloom and every year she manages a team of volunteers to persuade town centre shops to hang up baskets of plants, as well as organising clean grot spots in the community gathering scouts, cubs and brownies.
When asked about being awarded with an MBE, Angela told The Lincolnite: “I am absolutely delighted and thrilled and feel honoured.
“I campaigned and put forward various suggestions to Martin Hill (Lincolnshire County Council leader) and the scrutiny committee, which led to the relief road being diverted and avoiding several houses being knocked down in 2019. Someone at the time mentioned about nominating me for the award and I thought nothing more of it.
“I got a phone call in May (from the Cabinet Office) and it took me by surprise. I am very proud and have been a district councillor since 1973, and the only one elected then who is still on the council.
“I enjoy helping people and the challenges that face us quite often and want to keep going on both councils.”