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People across Cornwall awarded in New Year Honours list

People across Cornwall awarded in New Year Honours list

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 1st January 2020. (Updated at 5:33pm 1st January 2020)

The great and the good across Cornwall have been awarded in the New Year Honours list, alongside some of the UK's best-known stars.

The Honours on the Queen's list for 2019 have been revealed and here in the Duchy, numerous people have been recognised for their hard work.

Let's meet some of them...

The following people have been awarded an OBE:

  • Rosemary Jane Black. Formerly Service director Education and Early Years, Cornwall Council. For services to Education. 
  • Paul William Netherton. Deputy chief Constable Devon and Cornwall Police. For services to Policing. 
  • Simon James Staughton, DL. For services to the Brewing Industry and to the community in Cornwall. 

These people are being given an MBE:

94-year-old Horace (Harry) Raymond Billinge from St Austell. For services to Charitable Fundraising. 

He was one of the first British troops to land on Gold Beach on D-Day. Many of his friends were killed. In the decades since he has been committed to serving charities in Cornwall.

He was Chair of the Cornwall branch of the Normandy Veterans' Association, President of the Royal Engineers Association and he collected for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for 64 years.

Most notable as a D-Day veteran is 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.

He actively supported the Normandy Memorial Trust, visiting the site of the Memorial above Gold Beach where he landed in 1944. There he recorded an eloquent and moving video explaining the importance of the project for the veterans and as a way of passing the message of their sacrifice to future generations. This is a central part of the Trust's fundraising efforts.

He received the Legion d'Honneur as a D-Day Veteran.

Andrew Robert Day. For services to the community in Portscatho, Cornwall. 

The 55-year-old is a butcher in the village who has made a valuable contribution to his community through charitable giving, volunteering, and cohesion boosting events that bring the village community together.
His shop provides a rare source of part-time and full-time "starter" jobs for young people in the village.

Andrew has also raised £9,000 for charity and volunteers for the local Cliff Rescue Coastguard team as well as coaching Roseland RFC.

Tania Findlay. Teacher St Newlyn East Learning Academy. For services to Education.

And the following are being awarded a BEM:

Grenville George Chappel. For services to the community in Penwerris, Falmouth

In his role as Chair of the Penwerris Tenant and Residents Association (PTRA) for 20 years and his leading role in the Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership (BCRP), he was instrumental in turning around the fortunes of one of the most blighted housing estates in England. 
Before he formed PTRA and became the figurehead for the BCRP the estate was blighted by poor health, violent crime, drug dealing and intimidation. 

Under his leadership, the estate changed to become a national and global flagship for community regeneration hosting many VIP visits. 

In 2016 he was elected Mayor of Falmouth - a position he held until 2019.

Kim Yvonne O'Keeffe. Director Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. For services to Nursing

Kim's Honour comes in recognition of her services to nursing and the nomination particularly highlights the role she has played at RCHT where she has been fundamental in supporting change.  Her strong caring leadership has mobilised the nursing workforce across the Trust's three hospitals.

"It is such a thrill to receive this Honour.  I am so proud to be a nurse - and especially as part of the great team at RCHT here in Cornwall.   

"There are many things I feel proud and privileged to have been able to support and help make happen, such as the transformation of maternity services and the integration of our safeguarding team."

Kim O'Keeffe

Kim O'Keeffe RCHT


Helen Mary Shanahan. Infant Feeding Coordinator Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Breastfeeding Counsellor, National Childbirth Trust. For services to Midwifery. 

The 60-year-old from Falmouth is passionate about breastfeeding and ensuring new mothers receive the support they need both in hospital and in the community. 

It is due to her work that Cornwall was the first county in the country to achieve baby friendly accreditation in both community and hospital. 

She is involved in the Real Baby Milk action and spends time beyond her paid role making DVDs, providing support and training peer supporters. 

She fought to maintain the infant feeding coordinator role when it was at risk of being cut and under her leadership, breastfeeding rates in Cornwall went from 46% in 2010 to 53% in 2017 at six to eight weeks. 

81-year-old Rachel Tonkin from Helston - For services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution 

On her 80th birthday, she served more than 180 people with tea and toast in a four-hour period at the Lizard Lifeboat Station's Big Breakfast. 

Her unstinting enthusiasm for the lifesaving mission of the RNLI has earned her the respect of everybody at the Lizard Lifeboat Station and within the local community. On joining the Guild in 1970, she took responsibility for increasing the number of collection boxes within the community. 

After almost 50 years, she still raises more than £5,000 every year from the RNLI fundraising boxes in and around The Lizard - which is impressive, given that the community has only 1,000 permanent residents. 

She also played a leading role in raising money for the new All-Weather Lifeboat Appeal at the Lizard Lifeboat Station in 2009. With her drive and determination, the appeal reached its target of £300,000 inside three years.

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