The New Year’s Honours List 2020, published on Saturday 28 December, recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom.
The List celebrates a range of extraordinary young people across the UK. MBEs are awarded to: 25 year old Yusuf Patel for his work in tackling extremism in London; 21 year old award-winning cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason; and 27 year old Mete Coban, the co-founder of My Life My Say, for his work transforming youth engagement in democracy. BEMs are received by: 21 year old disability advocate Jack Marshall; and 13 year old Ibrahim Yousaf, the youngest person on the list, for his charity work in Greater Manchester.
Over half of the recipients in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 are women, including 44% of awards at the highest levels. The List includes leaders and pioneers from all fields. There are damehoods for the Chief Executive of Citizens’ Advice, Gillian Guy, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Professor Lesley Regan, and Chief Executive of the John Lewis Partnership, Sharon White. Chemical engineer and Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, Professor Lynn Gladden. Writer Rose Tremain and potter Professor Magdalene Odundo are also recognised. There are CBEs for Chief Executive of the Samaritans, Ruth Sutherland, pioneering aerospace engineer Jenny Body, Chief Executive of Blackburne House, Clare Dove, and Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Claire Horton.
To mark the start of the World Health Organisation’s ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ in 2020, twelve nurses and five midwives who have dedicated their lives to helping others and improving healthcare in the UK receive honours at OBE, MBE and BEM level. Among them are MBEs for Nicolette Peel, a midwife who has dedicated her time to supporting women affected by cancer during pregnancy and their families, and Elizabeth Evans, who has developed stoma care services.
Singer-songwriter and activist Sir Elton John and historian Sir Keith Thomas both become Companions of Honour. There are damehoods for entertainer and charitable fundraiser Olivia Newton-John and broadcaster and campaigner Baroness Floella Benjamin. There is a knighthood for film and theatre director Sam Mendes and CBEs for actress Wendy Craig; DJ Annie Nightingale; veteran radio critic Gillian Reynolds; and screenwriter Steven Knight. At OBE, there are awards for broadcaster June Sarpong; founder member of Queen, Roger Taylor; and author and chef, Nigel Slater.
Following a memorable year for British sport, a number of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to sport in the UK are honoured - both at the grassroots and professional level. This list celebrates a high number of sportswomen, including a damehood for Director of Women’s Football at the FA Sue Campbell; an OBE for World Taekwondo Champion Jade Jones; MBEs for former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton; England’s football midfielder Jill Scott; Netball World Cup Captain Serena Guthrie and broadcaster Gabby Logan.
Elsewhere in sport, a knighthood goes to veteran cricketer Clive Lloyd and a number of awards go to the squad, coaching team and grassroots volunteers involved in England’s significant victory at the ICC Cricket World Cup. Recognised are One-Day Captain Eoin Morgan and ECB Chairman Colin Graves at CBE; coach Trevor Bayliss and Vice-Captain Ben Stokes at OBE; and Joe Root and Joseph Buttler at MBE. There are BEMs for Ray Bainbridge, Christopher Sheldon and Afzal Pradhan - all volunteer ‘cricketeers’ at the World Cup 2019.
Once again, this Honours List also includes inspirational people who have dedicated their lives to Holocaust and genocide remembrance and education, sharing their stories with schoolchildren around the UK. As survivors, they have demonstrated extraordinary personal resilience and commitment, championing tolerance and diversity, and playing a vital role in ensuring future generations continue to learn from the past.
Also honoured at MBE level is D-Day veteran Harry Billinge for his exceptional contribution and passionate commitment to raise funds for the British Normandy Memorial, which commemorates the fallen under British Command during the Battle of Normandy in 1944.
This Honours List continues to demonstrate the breadth of service given by people from all backgrounds from all across the UK. In total 1,097 people have received an award. 941 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level - 315 at BEM, 397 at MBE and 229 at OBE:
- 789 (72%) of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity;
- 556 women are recognised in the List, representing 51% of the total;
- 9.1% of the successful candidates come from a BAME background;
- 11% of the successful candidates consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010);
- 3.3% of recipients identified as being LGBT+.
The Prime Minister continued the strategic steer to the Main Honours Committee that the honours system should support children and young people to achieve their potential, enhance life opportunities, remove barriers to success and work to tackle discrimination.
In total, 72% of awards in the New Year Honours List 2020 go to people who have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community. Awards include OBEs for Charlotte Hill; Chief Executive of Step Up to Serve, which promotes social action among young people; Dave Hewett, co-founder of Intensive Interaction, a programme to help people with learning disabilities improve their communication skills; and Osmond Junior Smart, founder of the SOS County Lines Gangs Project, London’s largest gang exit programme.
Supporting Children and Young People
Around 8.7% of awards are for work in education. The independent Education Honours Committee has recommended a damehood for Caroline Allen, CEO of Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust, which focuses on special educational needs; and a CBE for Rowena Arshad, Head of Moray House of Education, University of Edinburgh, and Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland. At OBE, there are awards for Mirella Bartrip, Director of Dance Trinity Laban; Neena Lall, Headteacher of St Stephen’s Primary School, Newham; and Matthew Hyde, Chief Executive of the Scout Association. There are MBEs for racial equality champion Kalwant Bhopal and Catriona Worthington, Director of the Westminster House Youth Club for her work with Children and Young People in South East London.
Industry and the economy make up 12.3% of this Honours List. The independent Economy Honours Committee continued to highlight entrepreneurs, emerging sectors and those who have made striking interventions in established sectors across the UK. It has recommended damehoods for Teresa Graham, Chair of the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Advisory Committee, UK Finance. At CBE there is an award for the Chair of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Elizabeth Fagan. Ruth and Tom Chapman, co-chairs of Matchesfashion.com, are awarded OBEs, alongside Tracy Fishwick, the founder of the Transform Lives Company, which works to raise employability of those furthest from the labour market.
Science, Technology and Health
Around 14.6% of honours are for work in the Science, Technology and Health sectors. In a strong field, the respective committees have recommended a damehood for Professor Sarah Whatmore, Professor of Environment and Public Policy, University of Oxford. Knighthoods go to Professor Anthony Cheetham, Distinguished Research Fellow, Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge and Dr Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice-President, Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit at AstraZeneca. At OBE, there are awards for Debra Adams, Head of Infection Prevention and Control (Midlands and East), NHS England and NHS Improvement; Rachel Coldicutt, Chief Executive Officer, Doteveryone; and Yewande Akinola, for services to Engineering Innovation and Diversity in STEM.