Four senior vountary sector staff receive CBEs in the New Year Honours List, which has a strong emphasis on the government's big society themes of volunteering, social action and philanthropy.
They include Martina Milburn, chief executive of the Prince's Trust, Stephen Hammersley, chief executive of the Community Foundation Network, and Fiona Dawe, until recently chief executive of the volunteering charity YouthNet.
The fourth is James Holloway, director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – part of the National Galleries of Scotland charity – which recently had an extensive refurbishment.
Several sector staff receive OBEs: Stephen Bell, chief executive of the homelessness charity Cyrenians; Susan Mills, an international relief and development worker for Tearfund; Sandra Kerr, national director of Race for Opportunity at Business in the Community; Orin Cadogan-Lewis, co-founder and chief executive of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust; and Elizabeth Howell, chief executive of the Kent disability charity the Compaid Trust.
Robert Parsons, founder of Care for the Family, also receives an OBE, as does Richard Brunwin, former chief executive of the ex-services charity the Oswald Stoll Foundation.
Three philanthropists who receive knighthoods are: Rod Aldridge, who founded the Capita group and is now chair of the Aldridge Foundation and a supporter of academy schools; Paul Ruddock, chief executive of Lansdowne Partners, a contributor to the revival of the Victoria and Albert Museum; and Doug Ellis, former chairman of Aston Villa Football Club and a contributor to the NSPCC.
Kirsty Ashton of Manchester, who has raised more than £87,000 for When You Wish Upon a Star, which supports sick and terminally ill children, receives an MBE. She has enabled more than 100 children suffering from a range of illnesses to take a holiday in Lapland.
Among others receiving MBEs for services to charity and their communities are: Dr Margaret Philippou, whose has worked as volunteer on gang-related crime in London; Christine Mills, founder of the Hope for Tomorrow charity; Julia Crookall, a volunteer for Samaritans in Crewe; and James Davis, a 'good childhood' adviser to the Children's Society.
The Cabinet Office said that 70 per cent of 984 recipients of honours worked in their communities in voluntary or paid capacities.
It said: "The vast majority of people recognised include those supporting the big society by making a real difference to their local community through volunteering, fundraising, social action and philanthropy."