Chief executive of Carers UK among charity workers to receive New Year's honours

Helena Herklots is awarded a CBE along with Chris Simpkins, former director general of the Royal British Legion, and Michael Pragnell, chair of Cancer Research UK

Helena Herklots
Helena Herklots

Helena Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, and Chris Simpkins, former director general of the Royal British Legion, are among the charity workers to be awarded CBEs in today’s New Year’s honours list.

Herklots joined Carers UK in 2012 and before that was services director at Age UK. She has worked in the charity sector for more than 25 years and contributed to a number of government working groups.

Simpkins led the legion for nine years, overseeing a programme of modernisation, until he stepped down in August.

CBEs have also been awarded to: Michael Pragnell, chair of Cancer Research UK; Peter Weissberg, former medical director at the British Heart Foundation; and Dr Margo Whiteford, chair of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, which provides lifetime support to those affected by the spinal-related conditions.

Richard Winter, a partner at the accountancy firm PwC, was awarded a CBE for his work for international development charities including Save the Children. The same honour has been awarded to the TV presenter and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Angela Rippon for services to dementia care.

Knighthoods have gone to: the comedian Ken Dodd for his services to entertainment and charity, including the Ken Dodd Charitable Trust; and the tennis player Andy Murray for his services to sport and charities, including WWF-UK and Unicef. The Olympic rower Katherine Grainger has been made a dame for her services to sport and charity, and the actress Patricia Routledge received the same honour for services to theatre and her charity work, which includes founding an eponymous charitable trust.

Separately, the Queen awarded a damehood to Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust. Milburn was appointed dame commander of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour only given to those who have directly served the royal family.

Roma Hooper, founder of the Prison Radio Association, has been awarded an OBE for services to prisoners. The PRA won Charity of the Year at this year’s Third Sector Awards.

Others to be awarded OBEs include: Sue Baker, director of the mental health campaigning organisation Time to Change; Sarah Brennan, chief executive of the mental health charity Young Minds; Brian Gale, director of policy and campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society; and Clive Martin, former director of the criminal justice umbrella body Clinks. Crispin Truman, chief executive of the Churches Conservation Trust, and Stephen Hill, who chaired Action on Hearing Loss for eight years until late 2016, are also awarded OBEs. 

A total of 1,197 people received awards, of which 74 per cent went to those who had carried out work in their local communities.

Among those to be awarded MBEs are: Susan Green, who has volunteered for Samaritans for more than 30 years; Agnes Whyte, chair of Breathe Easy in Kirkcaldy, which supports people with lung conditions; and Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive of the charity Brain Tumour Research.

British Empire Medal recipients include: 94-year-old Janet Gillespie, who spent more than 60 years volunteering for Poppy Scotland; and 17-year-old Jeremiah Emmanuel, an army cadet who founded the charity One Big Community, which helps youth organisations engage with decision-makers.

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