MBEs for ordinary people who did extraordinary work

New Year Honours: Unsung Heroes

A former dinner-lady, a student, a caretaker, stonemason and a puppeteer are among ordinary people who did extraordinary things, alongside the familiar array of celebrities, sports stars and civil servants. Seventy per cent of recipients have been recognised for "outstanding work in their communities", often as volunteers.

Jeanette Orrey inspired Jamie Oliver's healthy eating in schools campaign after she transformed the menu at St Peter's school in East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, and encouraged pupils to eat organic food.

Mrs Orrey said she was "humbled and shocked" at her MBE. She has written two books on her experiences and is planning a third.

Kirsty Ashton, a 21-year-old student from Manchester, combines her studies and coping with serious health problems with raising tens of thousands for charity. The MBE is for her work for When You Wish Upon A Star, which pays for sick and terminally ill children to go on holiday.

Another 21-year-old, Robyn Keeble, from Rainham, Essex, is appointed MBE for her work in encouraging teenagers to become involved in their communities.

A lifetime of charity work is recognised with an MBE for Joy Philippou, who is now focusing on helping young people to leave gangs. Ms Philippou, 83, from Bromley, Kent, created the STAR Foundation to recognise young adults who are 'sociable, trustworthy and responsible'.

A caretaker, Robert Owen, is appointed MBE for services to the community in Holyhead, Anglesey, along with Mary Watt, who is rewarded for services to Highland dance teaching in Ross-shire.

Specialist skills are recognised in MBEs for the stonemason Alan Horsfield for his work on St Paul's Cathedral and to the puppeteer Lyndie Wright, of the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, north London.

New Year Honours List 2012:  
* Knights Bachelor
* Order of the Bath
* Royal Victorian Order, Royal Victorian Medal, and Colonial Police and Fire Service Medal
* Order of the British Empire, Civil - GBE, DBE, CBE
* Order of the British Empire, Civil - OBE
* Order of the British Empire, Civil - MBE
* Diplomatic Services and Overseas List
* Commonwealth
* Military Division
* Sundries

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...