Council chief, hospital matron and building firm boss awarded in new year's honours

This Is Lancashire: Gillian Hughes Gillian Hughes

A MOTHER who helped rid Bolton of on-street prostitution, a hospital matron and a building firm chief are among those recognised by the Queen in the new year honours list.

Little Lever-born Gillian Hughes, who has worked for Bolton Council since 1991, has been awarded an MBE for services to children and families.

The 47-year-old, whose current role of family first co-ordinator sees her working to help hundreds of troubled families across Bolton, said: “It’s amazing. My family is absolutely bowled over.

“It’s strange, I knew a month or so back when I had to accept it. I’m just over the moon.”

Mrs Hughes, of Tong Road, says working to bring an end to on-street prostitution in Bolton, in the notorious Shiffnall Street red light district and the Haulgh, is the work she is most proud of.

Residents’ lives were blighted by the problem but an operation was launched in 2000 to target kerb crawlers, support vulnerable women and clean up the area.

Mrs Hughes, whose first job with the council was secretary in the housing department, said: “Now there’s very little on-street prostitution. There’s a couple of parts of the area where we get a hiccup every now and again but the police are straight on it.

“I’m very proud of some of the partners I’ve worked with.

“I feel very lucky because I’ve worked for the council for a long time. I’ve made the most of my opportunities but I’ve been given those opportunities.”

Also from Little Lever, Royal Bolton Hospital matron Suzanne Lomax has been awarded an MBE for services to healthcare.

In 1992, the mother-of-two and colleague Sharron Dempsey formed Supporting Hands, a charity which supports survivors of stroke and their families, which now runs as JIGSAW (Joint Initiative Group for Stroke Awareness and Wellbeing).

She was also heavily involved in the opening of the first Acute Stroke Care Unit at the hospital, which went on to greatly improve the survival rates for stroke victims in Bolton and their rehabilitation.

The 48-year-old said: “The official letter arrived from Downing Street around a month ago.

“I could not believe I was receiving such high recognition, it was a complete shock.

“It has been so hard keeping this a secret with only my husband, Tony, knowing about it.

“I want to thank all those colleagues and patients who have written such lovely letters supporting the award, I'm now looking forward to attending Buckingham Palace with my family.”

Mr Lomax said: “I am so proud of what Suzanne has achieved. She is an inspiration, always putting others, including her patients, first.”

Christopher Seddon, director of Seddon Group Ltd, has been awarded an MBE for services to apprenticeships and the community in the North West through the Seddon Charitable Trust which makes grants to individuals and organisations.

In 2012, the family-owned and managed business that spans three centuries and five generations — established in Little Hulton in 1897 and with its main office in Plodder Lane, Farnworth — celebrated 75 years of the Seddon Apprentice.

Seddon constructed the £5 million Bury Hospice building in Rochdale Old Road, Bury, which opened its doors in March.

Chief executive officer of Bury Hospice Jacqui Comber said: “We are absolutely delighted for Christopher — it is great to see a fantastic man honoured for his hard work.”

Iain Anderson, who lives in Bolton, a consultant surgeon at Salford Royal Hospital, has been awarded an MBE for services to clinical surgery and medical education.

The father-of-three said: “It is a great honour to receive this recognition.

“It has been a privilege over the past 30 years to provide services to the people of Salford, the North West and much further afield.

“I would like to thank Salford Royal for the support they’ve given me throughout my career and also pay a particular tribute to my many colleagues who have been a pleasure to work alongside as we strive to provide the best possible care for patients.”

Richard Sutherland, honorary chairman of the board of trustees at Birtenshaw School, has been awarded an MBE for services to education and the community in Bolton.

The special school moved to its new multi-million pound site, in Bromley Cross, in September 2012 and Mr Sutherland was instrumental in bringing the building of the new school from dream to reality.

At that time, after 21 years serving Birtenshaw as trustee and chairman, he stepped down from the role and a plaque was unveiled to reveal the school hall would be known as Richard Sutherland Hall as a mark of his commitment.

Anne Yates, executive officer for the work services directorate at the Department for Work and Pensions, has been given an MBE for services to jobseekers and the community in Bolton.

Labour councillor William Pennington, who represents Walkden North Ward for Salford City Council, has been awarded an MBE for services to local government and the community in Greater Manchester.

Michael Baker, from Leigh, who works for Derbyshire Constabulary’s Organised Crime Co-ordination Centre, has been given an MBE for services to policing and tackling organised crime.

Also awarded MBEs were Yvonne Moore, for services to the community in Bury, and Michael Hymanson, from Prestwich, for charitable services to children and young adults with terminal or life-threatening conditions in the North West.

Andrea Hough, managing director of Worsley-based AT Engine Control, has been awarded an OBE for services to manufacturing.

Queen’s Police Medals have been awarded to Greater Manchester Police detective constable Peter Rickards and assistant chief constable Garry Shewan while James Jones, head of the firearms and explosives licensing unit, has been awarded an OBE.

From Lancashire Police, Chris Weigh, deputy chief constable, and detective sergeant Neil Fowler have each been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for services to policing and Sgt Pete Sculpher has been awarded an MBE for services to policing and the community.

In total, 1,195 people have received an award, 74 per cent of them for outstanding work in their communities.

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