MORE than a thousand people have been recognised for their hard work after being named by the Queen in the New Year Honours list. FLORA THOMPSON reports on those honoured in Sussex

THE FOUNDER of a bat hospital, a surfing life saver trainer and a philanthropic businessman are among 1,164 people whose hard work has been praised by the Queen.

The New Year Honours list was published last night with those who have made an outstanding contribution to society awarded CBEs, OBEs, MBEs, BEMs and a police medal.

Bat expert Jenny Clark, 70, was praised for her work to help the species after founding the Sussex Bat Hospital – mostly at her own expense - from her home in Forest Row, near East Grinstead.

In the last 30 years she has dedicated her time to rescuing and rehabilitating injured and sick bats after a friend of her husband Hugh brought them a bat who had been injured by a cat.

She deals with hundreds of bats every year and as many as 12 different species at a time, nursing them back to health before releasing them into the wild, keeping them in different sized cages or shoeboxes depending on their stage of growth.

After hearing she was to be made MBE, she told The Argus: “I was completely bowled over. It was very exciting it wouldn’t have happened without the support of my husband, who has been marvellous all these years.”

Julia Hanmer, joint chief executive of the Bat Conservation Trust, said: “Jenny is an inspirational wildlife educator and is passionate about bat conservation.

“She overturns many myths and misunderstandings and wins people over to the wonder of bats.

“Everyone remembers meeting Jenny and her bats and comes away knowing bats as small, gentle and enchanting creatures, important to our world and in need of our care and attention.”

Virginia Barnacle, 52, of Hove, was made a BEM for her services to Brighton Sailing Club, Brighton Surf Life Saving Club and to the community.

She is praised with reinventing the Brighton Sailing Club, which she has been involved with for 20 years and was the club’s first female commodore.

In 2005 she became the founding member and trustee of the Brighton Surf Life Saving Club, a voluntary service to teach life saving skills and water safety awareness.

In 2012 she launched club Nippers so children could train as life savers. Since 2007 she has helped run Paddle Round the Pier, which attracts 55,000 visitors a year and has raised hundreds of thousands of pound for charity.

She gives up one day a week six months of the year to work full-time on the charity and helped disabled children who had never been on a beach have a chance to do so safely.

She is the third member of her family to be rewarded by the Queen.

The industrial placements officer, who works under her maiden name of Goodwill at the University of Brighton’s business school, follows in the footsteps of her father Edward Goodwill who was awarded the MBE in 1983 after serving 40 years in the Royal Navy, and her grandfather Montague Renshaw who received the BEM in 1964 for services to the train drivers’ union ASLEF.

When her best friend died in 2010, she took in her three children for a year until they found a permanent home.

She said: “I burst into tears when I read the letter. I was so shocked I never expected it. I’m totally humbled for being recognised for something I love doing so much and derive so much pleasure from.”

Professor Aidan Berry, director of the Brighton Business School, said: “Virginia works very hard for the university and for the community – this award is thoroughly well deserved.”

Margaret Alford, 64, was born in Ashington. The registered child minder of 32 years met her husband Peter, now 73, moved away from the village for more than a decade but loved it so much she returned.

Mrs Alford came up with the idea for Ashington Festival in 1983 on a small budget of a few hundred pounds. The annual event now has a budget of more than £30,000, attracts about 5,000 people to its carnival, stalls, fun fair, flower show and other attractions in August.

Mrs Alford has been chairwoman since 1994 and works on the project throughout the year. She is also a secretary at the village’s community centre, organising its everyday use, finances and operations and helped to make sure it can also be used as a youth centre after raising funds for equipment.

She has now been made BEM.

She said: “I was extremely surprised to be awarded and it is a great honour. I thoroughly enjoy the work I do. There are so many volunteers who willingly give up their time and I think it is what makes this country great. I am indebted to the people who have helped me in the village and it has been a pleasure to work with them.

“It is a lovely place to live with great people and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Businessman and philanthropist Michael Chowen has been recognised for charitable services in Brighton.

The founder of Sussex Stationers, who retired in previously received an honorary degree from the University of Brighton as a doctor of science for his philanthropic activities in education in the Brighton area.

He donated to a number of educational organisations including £150,000 to the university which enabled a research project to reduce greenhouse gases.

Kathy Gore, of Uckfield, the chairman of the Friends of Sussex Hospices (FSH), is recognised for her services to charity and to the community, particularly to hospice care by being made OBE.

Ms Gore was previously deputy lieutenant for East Sussex.

Dr Glynn Jones, has also been made OBE for services to the community in Hassocks.

Dr Jones is chairman of the West Pier Trust – which owns the pier and works to protect it.

He is a former chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council and was chair of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

He was vice-chairman of Brighton Festival, independent member of the council at the University of Sussex and is involved in a number of other charitable organisations.

Giles York, the chief constable of Sussex Police, has been awarded a Queen’s Police Medal. Mr York started his service more than 24 years ago with Kent Police before being appointed as an assistant chief constable with South Wales Police.

The 47-year-old has served Sussex for six and a half years since he became deputy chief constable in 2008 becoming chief constable in June.

He is the force lead for diversity and the national police lead for the High Potential Development Scheme intellectual property crime and national analysts.

Mr York said: “It is an absolute privilege and honour to give so much to policing and to have it recognised in this way.

"Over the years I have enjoyed working with a huge number of amazing colleagues and partners who give so much to Sussex. They have made it a pleasure to come to work every day.”

Who’s won what


Michael David Lincoln Chowen, a philanthropist recognised for charitable services in Brighton.

Keith Exford, chief executive of the Affinity Sutton Group rewarded for services to housing in London, from Balcombe.

Dr Anna Danielle Van Der Gaag, chairman of the Health and Care Professions Council, recognised for services to health and care, from Slinfold.


Steven John Berry, team leader at the Department for Transport, rewarded for services to local transport resilience, from Hastings.

Kathleen Ann Gore, recognised for services to charity and to the community, particularly to hospice care, Uckfield.

Dr Glynn Jones, for services to the community in Hassocks.

William Benedict Nicholson, screenwriter and author, recognised for services to drama and literature, from Lewes.

Jennifer Clare Preece, manager for childcare, special educational needs and children's strategy at the Department for Education. Recognised for services to children, from Brighton.


Professor Janatha Hetherington Burns, head of the School of Psychology Politics and Sociology, Canterbury Christ Church University. For services to people with an intellectual disability, from Wadhurst.

Jenny Mary Clark. Founder of the Sussex Bat Hospital, rewarded for services to Bat Conservation in the UK.

Sarah Wendy Jewell, the founder and managing director of SJA International, and the chief executive of ALC Health. Recognised for services to entrepreneurship in the Medical Health Industry, from Findon.

Sonja Le Vay, for services to the community in Crowborough.

Julian Martin Leigh-Pollitt, for services to the Steyning Area First Responders Group and to the community in Steyning.

Beatrice Helen McBride, formerly director of policy and communications of the British Heart Foundation. Recognised for services to cardiovascular healthcare in East Sussex.

Gail Ramsden, senior officer and IT skills and capability manager for the Valuation Office Agency. Rewarded for services to young people through the ICT Apprentice Scheme, from Lancing.

Carolyn Mary Randall, area manager for Crimestoppers Trust, in Sussex. Recognised for services to crime prevention, from Cross in Hand.


Margaret Mary Alford is rewarded for services to the community in Ashington.

Virginia Anne Barnacle, of Hove, is recognised for services to Brighton Sailing Club and Brighton Surf Life Saving Club and to the community.

Monica Susan Hill, a community volunteer at the Mothers and Toddlers Group, in Hurstpierpoint, is rewarded for services to children and families.


Giles Tristan York, chief constable of Sussex Police.


THE creators of a sea of poppies which engulfed the Tower of London to commemorate those who died in the First World War receive awards in the honours list.

Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper are both to be made MBEs in recognition of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red display, which saw 888,246 ceramic poppies fill the moat of the historic building.

A poppy was positioned in the ground for each British or Colonial military death during the conflict.

Other prominent figures, such as artists, inventors and entrepreneurs honoured include Esther Rantzen, who will be made a Dame.

The ChildLine founder will be rewarded for her charity and campaigning work, and set up SilverLine for the elderly.

Veteran actor John Hurt – whose career spans half a century - will receive a knighthood and Joan Collins will be made a Dame.

Actor and playwright James Corden and Two Pints of Lager actress Sheridan Smith, who appeared as brother and sister in BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey, will be made OBEs.

Comedian Meera Syal, of the The Kumars at No. 42, whose husband Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE was appointed as the University of Sussex’s chancellor in 2009, is awarded a CBE.

The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy – the first woman in the post’s history, and Mary Quant – the designer behind the miniskirt – are both made dames.

Former lord mayor of London Fiona Woolf, who resigned from her role as the chairman of the inquiry into historic child abuse, has been made a dame for services to the legal profession, diversity and the City of London.

Jenny Broughton, 80, a campaigner for gay rights who founded Fflag (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), a charity to support parents of lesbian, homosexual and bisexual children was made an MBE for services to sexual equality and families.

What the awards mean

THERE are a number of orders which can be awarded under the honours system. Most awards are in the Order of the British Empire, established in 1917, and figures are made a knight or a dame for a major, long-term contribution in any activity, usually at national level.

Their work will be inspirational and significant. People can be nominated for an award, but the honour they receive is decided by a committee.

Companion of Honour – for a major, long-term contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government.

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) - a prominent but lesser role at national level, or a leading role at regional level, or for distinguished, innovative contribution to any area.

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) - a major local role in any activity which they may have become known nationally for.

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) - a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community.

British Empire Medal (BEM) – for important contributions to a community in a short period of time such as three to four years.