The mother of a murdered teenager, a 92-year-old scout master and the leader of a choir for people with dementia are just three of the English local heroes named in the New Year Honours list.
The awards recognise services to charity, education, industry, policing, sport and healthcare, as well as helping the community. In total there are 322 British Empire Medals (BEM), 503 MBEs and 222 OBEs. Women make up more than half of the honourees, with 603 on the list. Marcia Shakespeare from Birmingham, the mother of Letisha, who was shot dead by gangsters in January 2003, is to be awarded the MBE. She has worked to provide young people with life opportunities and education through her own foundation and she also works closely with West Midlands Police to highlight the consequences of violent crime. Basketball player and coach Fabulous Flournoy, 43, is receiving the MBE both for his services to the sport and to the community in the North East. Born in New York, he had a very disadvantaged upbringing but obtained a contract to play basketball in England, going on to lead the Newcastle Eagles to 18 separate trophy victories since 2005, including six league titles in nine years. The Newcastle Eagles have been active in the local community with projects such as Hoops4Health, which teaches healthy living to 12,000 schoolchildren every year. Mr Flournoy has also spent time in Young Offender’s Institutes working with inmates and has supported homelessness charities. Heather Edwards, 63, from Norwich receives the BEM for services to people with dementia. Her group Come Singing aims to provide therapeutic stimulation for people with dementia. Future honours lists will focus on services and work with children and young people, people who work to encourage social mobility and people who work in enterprise and business. Lianne Tapson, who chairs Grantham Tennis Club, is being awarded the MBE for services to sport and the community in Lincolnshire. The 50-year-old has secured funding for the club to expand and it now has wheelchair members and is planning to support people with learning difficulties to compete at the Special Olympics in 2017.