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An Early New Year Highlight

As we move into the New Year, one of the highlights for me is always the release of His Majesty’s New Years Honours List.

Personal Honours are conferred on deserving people from all walks of life, in public recognition of their merit, service or bravery. The lists of very worthy recipients are released twice a year, at New Year and on the King’s
official birthday in June, but nominations for Personal Honours are received and assessed all year round.

I am sure you will have seen photos of the investitures taking place at Buckingham Palace in respect of the
higher-level awards such as MBEs and OBEs. However, recipients can also choose to have their medal presented
locally instead, and British Empire Medals (BEMs) are always invested in the area the recipient lives in.

Giving these investitures is one of my favourite duties as Lord-Lieutenant. It is always heartwarming to see so many of our special Leicestershire residents celebrated for their outstanding achievements, alongside their friends and families.

One recipient, Barbara Chantrill MBE, had the below to say about their own experience of receiving her medal this
year:
“The 28th September 2023 was a very special day for me and my family, as following announcement by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in May 2022, I was invested with my honorary MBE from
The Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire for my services to Education. It is humbling to be recognised for making a difference to young lives.”

John Duggan BEM, who was invested with a British Empire Medal in 2018, said: “Receiving this award, because of the secrecy involved beforehand, was a
shock, and a surprise, followed by a sense of reluctant pride, that something you did as a matter of course, would be deemed as worthy of such a reward. It took a little while to sink in, and realise the work that went in, in the
background, to reach that stage. The sense of pride felt by the family, friends, and colleagues, took a little bit to get
used to.”

Personal Honours are awarded based on nominations from the public, and despite the incredible achievements of so many across our City and County, I would like to see more from Leicestershire represented within the Honours System.

If you know someone who you feel has made achievements in public life which you feel go above and beyond expectation, you can find out more on how to nominate at https://www.gov.uk/honours