A STRATFORD-upon-Avon woman has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list, months before retiring as Principal of Solihull College.
Brenda Sheils, of St Andrew’s Crescent, is being awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to further education after 38 years in the industry.
Starting out in 1975 at a comprehensive school in Cambridgeshire, she moved to Stratford 25 years ago and was made Assistant Principal of the old Tile Hill College in Coventry.
She then worked in Gloucestershire before moving to Solihull College in 2000, where she was made Principal in 2003.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way,” she told the Herald.
“The award is testament to the achievement and skills of the staff, students and governors at Solihull College, and the support of my family.”
The college has 4,000 16 to 18-year-olds, 1,000 apprentices, and 7,000 adults studying full-time and part-time.
Mrs Sheils is leaving in the next few months, after a six-year, £55 million redevelopment was completed in the summer.
She and her husband have lived in Stratford since 1985 and have two grown-up children; Jennifer, who lives in London, and Jonathan, who lives in Stratford.
Also recognised in the New Year Honours list is Tanworth-in-Arden woman, Jane Ashcroft.
Chief Executive of Anchor, England’s largest non-profit housing association, she has been awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to older people.
Jane Ashcroft CBE
Established in 1968, Anchor provides housing, care, and support to people over 55 years old. It had an annual turnover of £265 million last year making it one of the largest charities in the UK.
Since becoming Chief Executive in 2010, Jane has spearheaded Anchor’s Grey Pride campaign, and handed in a petition of over 137,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street in support of a Minister for Older People.
She said: “It is an enormous honour to be recognised in this way. I am very proud to lead an organisation in which so many people work tirelessly to enable older people to live fulfilling and happy lives with us.”
Moreton Morrell man Carl Gilleard is a former Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters. He was awarded an OBE for services to higher education.
Warwickshire residents Vanessa Whitburn, former editor of The Archers, and Bernard Cook, former Chairman of the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory, were also awarded OBEs.
MBEs, BEMs, & QAMs
Shakespearean author and former Stratford resident Nicholas Fogg has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).
Now living in Marlborough, Wiltshire, it was awarded for services to the Marlborough International Jazz Festival.
Warwick woman Susan Rhodes has been awarded an MBE for her charity work in the town, and Judith Land, musical director of the Alcester Male Voice Choir has been awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to music and the community Alcester.
Judith Land BEM
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, has received a Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal (QAM).
A member of the ambulance service for over 25 years, he said: “I am very honoured to have received this award. Whilst I have been extremely fortunate to have been nominated, this is down to the hard work of everyone involved in the ambulance service. There is not a day goes by that I do not see or hear about the actions of staff that makes me immensely proud.”
Anthony Marsh QAM
A total of 1,195 honours have been awarded this year.
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