The Lincolnshire Co-op CEO, a former prison officer, a police volunteer, a woman with a passion for music and a councillor — all from Lincolnshire — were honoured in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The ceremonies are organised by the palace or the Lord Lieutenants for their area, which usually happen two to three months after the list is published. BEM recipients are also invited to go to a garden party.
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter has been honoured with an OBE for her services to the local economy, after 15 years at the helm of one of the county’s largest employers.
The independent co-operative society employs more than 2,800 people and runs 221 outlets, including food stores, pharmacies, travel agencies and funeral homes.
As well as heading up Lincolnshire Co-op, Ursula is Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
“I’m proud to accept this honour for my work leading these two organisations,” said Ursula. “Lincolnshire Co-op and the LEP are about people coming together to make life better in our communities, whether that’s through providing valued services or driving economic development.”
Ongoing development projects include the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, created in 2012 in partnership with the University of Lincoln. The Society is also regenerating the Cornhill Quarter in Lincoln’s city centre with a £70 million-pound restoration scheme.
Ursula joined the business in 1985 as a graduate trainee. She became Chief Executive in 2004.
Mark Edward Le Sage
Mark Edward Le Sage, 52, from Spalding was awarded a British Empire Medal for voluntary service to the community and to the Rehabilitation of Offenders.
Mark helped develop the Men and Violence programme in 1995 – a rehabilitation programme looking at men who use violence to communicate. It has been used in 40 prisons in the country, as well as in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
He also set up The Rightside Trust and the programme called See Sense Not a Sentence, working towards rehabilitation and to help school age children with support before they get into trouble.
He also spent 10 years at HM Prison Stocken during his career, but an incident at HM Prison Gartree in 2005 forced him to medically retire in 2008 due to PTSD.
A prisoner with mental health problems destroyed 11 out of 12 cells in the unit with his head and staff were constantly covered in blood, faeces and urine, but ultimately the staff helped to save him.
Mark, who also qualified as a nurse in 2009, told Lincolnshire Reporter it stopped him working as an officer, but he still wanted to support the prison staff and being involved with The Butler Trust allowed him to do that.
He said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by the award, I never expected it. I enjoy helping in the community so my children and grandchildren can have the best opportunities.
“2018 was a difficult year with a cancer diagnoses and other problems. I still have to go back for check-ups, but I focused on helping others and I am working on a future project about getting men to go to the doctors more.”
Lynn Mary Chantrey, 61, from the Barlings, Langworth was awarded a British Empire Medal for voluntary services to the community in Lincolnshire.
She was looking for work and after talking to an officer started volunteering at Lincolnshire Police where she has been for six years.
Lynn, who is a wheelchair user, also tries to promote disability in the training side of things to make officers understand disability more and ask her any difficult questions they might have.
The former horse riding instructor has volunteered approximately 1,720 hours since May 2013. In 2017 Lynn gave 732 hours to the force.
Lynn also launched Operation Revive to support vulnerable and elderly members of the community identified as victims or potential victims of crime.
She told Lincolnshire Reporter: “I am exceptionally proud, it is quite humbling and a real honour. I can’t think of a better way for someone to say thank you.
“I love the job. I volunteer two days a week and treat it like a job.”
She added: “In terms of disability the officers, and the force as a whole, have hugely progressed and are now more aware of how to deal with situations around disability, it’s come more to the fore. I feel I have a purpose and I will be here for as long as they’ll have me.”
Susan Hollingworth, 68, was awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to music and the community in Scunthorpe.
Susan was a choral director for Scunthorpe Cooperative Junior Choir (SCJC) for 34 years before later becoming the artistic director. In 2008 SCJC won the title of BBC3 Choir of the Year. She also conducts for several choirs and teaches conducting.
She is planning to take the Sine Nomine International Touring Choir to Manchester this weekend and to Lisbon later this summer. She also aims to take a play with music to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2020.
Susan, who was one of two conductors to do the War Requiem at Lincoln Cathedral in November 2018, told Lincolnshire Reporter: “It is a fantastic honour and a surprise. It’s great for me and for Scunthorpe.
“Music was a passion for me at school and I had a keen teacher. Then I went to music college and trained as a singer and then as a conductor. The music scene is vibrant with over 45 choirs in North Lincolnshire.
“I love music and things like choirs make a difference to a community and are part of the fabric, the same as sport. A lot of people in North Lincolnshire do stuff and belong to things. I’m 68, but I’m not going to retire yet.”
Councillor Richard Austin
Boston Borough Councillor Richard Austin was awarded a British Empire Medal to recognise his long service to the community.
Boston Borough Council said for the past 20 years Richard has selflessly dedicated his life to the promotion and improvement of the community of Wyberton and Boston.
His achievements include setting up a borough-wide team of litter pickers, making a successful case for an additional classroom at Wyberton Primary School and helping to introduce and develop the Boston UK Marathon, as well as voluntary church duties.
Richard was previously a leader at Boston Borough Council for four years and still represents Wyberton on the borough council. In 2015 he was made the 481st Mayor of Boston.
His wife Alison said: “He is known as the person to get the job done. He has a gift for rallying others to the cause and building teams to tackle challenges. He can be very persuasive and is quite tenacious. He never gives in.”