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Unsung heroes and community stalwarts recognised in New Year Honours

PUBLISHED: 06:46 30 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:08 30 December 2017

Carol Garrett at The Port of Felixstowe. She has received an OBE in the New Year Honours. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Carol Garrett at The Port of Felixstowe. She has received an OBE in the New Year Honours. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A pioneering surgeon who has received a damehood leads the list of Suffolk community stalwarts and unsung heroes in the New Year Honours.

James Lyon has been awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours for his services to the Forestry Commission. Picture: GREGG BROWN James Lyon has been awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours for his services to the Forestry Commission. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Hospital orthopaedic surgeon, Clare Marx, the first woman to hold the position of president of the Royal College of Surgeons, expressed her delight after being appointed a dame.

Twelve people from Suffolk have made the list for their professional achievements or volunteer work to help make Britain a better place to live, up slightly from 11 last year. See the national story here as Ringo Starr is knighted.

Miss Marx, who will accept the honour for services to surgery in the NHS, worked as an orthopaedic surgeon in London before she moved up to Suffolk to work at Ipswich Hospital 25 years ago.

Ipswich Hospital surgeon Clare Marx has received a damehood in the New Year Honours. Picture: ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS Ipswich Hospital surgeon Clare Marx has received a damehood in the New Year Honours. Picture: ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS

In July 2014 she was appointed president of the Royal College of Surgeons, a role she held until July.

“It was fascinating because it is a national professional role,” she said.

“It brought me into contact with all the national bodies and politicians and gave us an opportunity to champion patients and people undergoing surgery.

Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries. She has received an MBE. Picture: GREGG BROWN Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries. She has received an MBE. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“Being part of an extraordinary team at Ipswich has been an amazing part of my career. We don’t know how lucky we are to have such a fantastic hospital. “I was really delighted, a little surprised and a bit overwhelmed when I found out about the honour.”

Lavenham-born Stephen Howlett has been made a CBE in recognition of his 42-year career in housing, which included 13 years as boss of the Peabody Trust. He has grown London’s oldest housing association into one of the capital’s largest developers of new homes.

He said: “I am hugely honoured. A poor background should not be a barrier to success and prosperity and I’ll continue working to help create opportunities for people to achieve their aspirations.”

Carol Lukins. She has received an MBE. Picture: ARCHANT Carol Lukins. She has received an MBE. Picture: ARCHANT

Carol Garrett, team leader for ports and borders at Trading Standards, hosted by Suffolk Trading Standards, has been awarded an OBE for services to business. Mrs Garrett, 64, of Woodbridge, has helped detect unsafe products at the border, including thousands of dangerous hoverboards. It led to worldwide recognition and Mrs Garrett giving hoverboard safety advice to the Danish and Jamaican governments.

She said: “It’s quite humbling. I would also like to thank the team too who must also be recognised.”

Richard Carter, who spent 16 years on the governing body at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, six of them as chair before retiring this summer, has been made an MBE for his services to education.

Richard Carter. He has received an MBE. Picture: CAROLYN BRAMBLE Richard Carter. He has received an MBE. Picture: CAROLYN BRAMBLE

He said: “I am honoured. The college has been blessed with excellent principals. It is a modern, thriving college and one of the best-performing in the country. Theresa May praised its work in Parliament last year. It is a very exciting place to be.”

James Lyon, 62, of Norton, near Bury St Edmunds, a forest management director at the Forestry Commission, has been made an MBE for services to forestry and conservation.

He retired this summer after 42 years of working for the Forestry Commission, including the last 18 years in the South East, which covers 36,000 hectares.

Stephen Howlett has been awarded a CBE for for services to housing. Picture: MILES WILLIS Stephen Howlett has been awarded a CBE for for services to housing. Picture: MILES WILLIS

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled. For me, it’s about striking the right balance, which is difficult, between people and the environment. Thetford Forest is 20,000 hectares in size and the Friends of Thetford Forest are a wonderful group of people.”

Diana Porter, the founder of child sexual abuse charity Fresh Start - New Beginnings has been made an MBE. More than 960 children and their families has been supported since the charity was established in 2012.

Mrs Porter said: “This is for all the hard work that we have put in. The children and parents we have worked with are the remarkable ones, as well as the supporters who donate money and time.”

Lorraine Bliss has been made an MBE. Picture: LORRAINE BLISS Lorraine Bliss has been made an MBE. Picture: LORRAINE BLISS

Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, has been made an MBE for her contribution to the county’s library service. She took on the role in 2012 when the service was transferred from the county council. All 44 branches were saved.

She said: “I am thrilled to be honoured in this way, and regard this as a well-earned compliment to all the people I’ve worked with.”

Carol Lukins, of Ipswich, has also been awarded an MBE, for services to HM Coastguard and the prison service. She has volunteered with the Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue team, worked with Suffolk police by supporting young offenders, been a member of the Royal Navy Auxiliary Service, and has helped tens of thousands of children, nationally and worldwide, to get fit.

Diana Porter, who founded Fresh Start new beginnings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Diana Porter, who founded Fresh Start new beginnings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Lorraine Bliss, 65, of Dereham, Norfolk, who has spent nearly 30 years working with disadvantaged young people in Norfolk and Suffolk, and who has fostered children for 13 years, has been made an MBE. She said: “I feel very privileged and humbled. It was a wonderful surprise.”

Meanwhile, Alison Evans, of Beccles, has been awarded a BEM for her services to the community. Church expert Roy Tricker, of Ipswich, was also awarded a BEM for his services to heritage in Suffolk.

James Manning, 63, one of the founders of the Whitton Youth Partnership in Ipswich, also received a BEM.

James Manning has been awarded a BEM for his services to young people and the community in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT James Manning has been awarded a BEM for his services to young people and the community in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

He said: “I am humbled and very grateful. All the volunteers I’ve worked with must all share in the award.”

Church historian Roy Tricker, Picture: KEITH MINDHAM Church historian Roy Tricker, Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

Health leaders have pledged to at least halve the number of people who die in hospital in Suffolk and north-east Essex by 2021.

A parking price war is about to break out in Ipswich as the town’s new Crown multi-storey car park nears completion.

The new royal baby will be sharing his birthday with a number of new additions across our region.

New mental health beds for children and young people are set to open in the region after a review found current services were not enough.

A man accused of stabbing a homeless man in Ipswich town centre has been jailed for seven and a half years.

A recovering addict who credits yoga with pulling him out of the darkness has revealed plans to start his own business in Suffolk to help others tackle their demons.

A murder investigation has been launched after the discovery of a man’s body within a Colchester car park this morning.

Anglia Retail Park on the edge of Ipswich is set to be full for the first time in years by the end of the summer as furniture and household retailer Dunelm moves to the site.

Wildlife experts fear important sites across Suffolk could be “irrevocably damaged” if they are not protected when planning laws are revised.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have shown off their new baby son outside St Mary’s Hospital in London.

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