All the Bristol people awarded with New Year’s Honours this year

Honours have been awarded on New Year’s Day since 1890 when Queen Victoria’s awards were first published in the London Gazette. But knighthoods were first introduced in feudal times during the reign of Edward III as a way of creating camaraderie between himself and his greatest subjects.

The honours system has changed considerably over the years with many member of the public now being able to nominate a person for an honours. Ultimately a special committee decides on who gets awarded with an honours which is then overseen by the Prime Minister and the Head of State, now King Charles III.

Special honours like OBE, MBE and BEM recognise people who have made achievements in public life usually by making life better for others or being outstanding at what they do. Not everyone who is awarded an honour accepts the award, hundreds have turned them down over the years, including David Bowie and Roald Dahl .

READ MORE: Bristol author turned down MBE because of ‘brutal, bloody’ Empire

The main honours list included the names of 1,107 people this year. 219 of them received an OBE (Order of the British Empire), the second highest order after a CBE ( Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

An MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), one rank below an OBE was awarded to 431 people across the United Kingdom this year. There were also 305 people who were awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal), an award which had been discontinued but was reintroduced under David Cameron.

The remaining recipients on the main list were given higher ranking orders, including one person from Bristol who was awarded a CBE. The remaining people in Bristol on the list were either given an MBE or a BEM.

Below is a full list of all those in Bristol who were awarded with honours this year.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Louise Mitchell – Chief executive, Bristol Music Trust. For services to the arts in Bristol

Louise Mitchell CBE has run the Bristol Beacon (formerly Colston Hall) since she was first appointed in 2011. Along with Bristol Music Trust board members and staff a unanimous decision was made to drop the name ‘Colston’, being the first building in Bristol to decide on ditching their association with slave trader Edward Colston.

She set out a new vision for the music venue in 2021, stating that the Bristol Beacon “is for everyone”. She described the rebranding as a “once in a generation transformation”.

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Renovation of the Trinity Centre
Renovation of Trinity Centre. Edson Burton, leader of the Heart and Soul Project at the Trinity Centre.
(Image: David Betts Photography)

Dr Edson Burton – Writer, academic and curator. For services to the arts and to the community in Bristol (Easton, Bristol) Dr Edson Burton MBE who is also a poet and historian, wrote the three-part drama fantasy series for BBC radio, Deacon which is based in Bristol. He is currently the Heritage and engagement curator at Trinity Centre and was the Working Class Equality Researcher for their Art of Resistance Project.

Several years ago he led a fundraising centre to save Trinity Centre when extensive renovation put the venue at risk of closure. He also created an immersive theatre piece called The Last blues Song of a Lost Afronaut with Pervasive Media Studio at the Watershed.

The Green Party’s 2020 Mayoral candidate, Sandy Hore-Ruthven
(Image: Bristol Green Party)

Alexander Hore-Ruthven – Chair, South West committee, BBC Children in Need and chief executive officer, Creative Youth Network. For services to young people in Bristol (Bristol)

Alexander Hore-Ruthven MBE was formally the CEO of the Creative Youth Network (CYN), a large charity working with young people in the South West. Alongside his third sector work he has previously been an environmental campaigner and a manager at Friends of The Earth.

He stood as a Green Party mayoral candidate at the 2021 local elections. He got the second highest number of votes after Marvin Rees.

Jeffrey Liddiatt – For services to nuclear test veterans and to the community in Bristol (Portishead, Somerset)

Joanne Scott – Commercial lead, Vaccine Taskforce. For services to public health during Covid-19 (Bristol)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Nura Aabe is founder of community organisation Autism Independence
(Image: Nura Aabe)

Nura Aabe – Founder, Autism Independence. For services to people with autism (Bristol)

Nura Aabe BEM who is a mother and founder of a Bristol based charity to support those with autism, spoke at Ted X to raise awareness on autism within the Somali community. She has been outspoken on the lack of support for families with children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities (SEND).

She has campaigned for better SEND education and support services, and spoken at City Hall, alongside other Bristol mums.

Mary Golledge – For services to the community in Begbrook and Stapleton, Bristol (Bristol)

(Image: Michael Lloyd Photography)

Torkwase Holmes – Donor ambassador and outreach officer, NHS Blood and Transplant. For services to diversity in blood donation (Bristol)

Torkwase Holmes BEM has campaigned to increase blood donations from the Black community. She has worked to raise awareness so that those with sickle cell have a better chance of getting a match from the “right blood type which needs to come from their own ethnic background”, she told Bristol Live.

William Mellersh – Head coach, Chew Valley Badminton Club. For services to Badminton in Bristol (Upper Stanton Drew, Somerset)

Lucy Mitchell – For services to the community in Golden Hill, Bristol (Bristol)

Lucy Mitchell BEM is a community project worker at the Golden Hill community garden in Horfield. She runs groups at the garden for children and gives the organic produce from the garden to the volunteers that help her maintain the garden.

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