Martin Narey, the former chief executive of the children’s charity Barnardo’s, has been given a knighthood in the New Year Honours List.
He is one of hundreds of people to be honoured for their work in the voluntary sector – there were also knighthoods for the philanthropists Martin Smith and Michael Heller and for John Leighton, director general of the National Galleries of Scotland.
Narey, who was given the award for services to vulnerable people, was head of Barnardo's from 2005 until he stepped down in 2011 to spend more time with his family. He had previously been the first chief executive of the National Offender Management Service and director general of the Prison Service.
Smith is a former chair of the English National Opera and founded the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University and the Smith Centre at the Science Museum.
Heller founded two charities, one jointly with his late father, which have made donations to educational research and humanitarian causes, including cancer research.
There were CBEs for a large group of people from the voluntary sector, including Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union, John Bothamley, founder of the grant-maker Four Acre Trust, Su Sayer, chief executive of United Response, which works with people with mental or physical disabilities, Carolyn Miller, chief executive of the international health charity Merlin, and Marie Staunton, chief executive of the internation children's charity Plan UK.
CBEs also went to James Cochrane, chair of the British Red Cross, Malcolm Hurlston, founder and president of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, now called Step Change Debt Charity, Penny Mansfield, director of the relationships charity OnePlusOne, Diane Martin, former director of Trust, which works with women at risk in Lambeth, London, Martin Spray, chief executive of the conservation charity the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Alex Beard, deputy director of the Tate, and the philanthropist Terry Bramall, who set up the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation with a £96m donation.
Cherie Blair, the wife of Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, was also awarded the CBE for services to women's issues and to charity in the UK and overseas.
Among those receiving OBEs were Nick Warren, former chief executive of Voluntary Action Sheffield and a former trustee of the local infrastructure body Navca, Jennie Evans, a head of region at the development charity Tearfund, Liz Grant, former deputy chair of the gay rights charity Stonewall, and Brett Wigdortz, chief executive of the education charity Teach First.
Pauline Etkin and David Munns, the chief executive and chair respectively of the music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, were both given OBEs.
Those to receive the MBE included Maureen Clarke, founder of the ovarian cancer charity Angels of Hope, Frank Paterson, former chair of the Friends of the National Railway Museum, and Iain Tuckett, group director of the social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders.
The Cabinet Office said that 72 per cent of the 1,223 people to receive awards had undertaken "outstanding work in their communities in either a voluntary or paid capacity".
The vast majority of the 286 individuals to have been awarded the British Empire Medal were honoured for voluntary or community work. The medal, which is conferred by the lord lieutenant of a recipient’s home county rather than the Queen or Prince of Wales, was revived in the summer by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, after a 19-year hiatus.