Covid heroes among Bristol people named in New Year’s Honours list

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A variety of Bristol people have been named in the 2021 New Year’s Honours.

They include people two consultants at Bristol hospitals who have been recognised for their work during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as an art producer who has been working with deprived communities and a kickboxing world champion.

Here is the full list of Bristol people named in the 2021 New Year’s Honours:

Ema Swingwood OBE

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Ema Swingwood has been a respiratory physiotherapist at the Bristol Royal Infirmary for nine years

The respiratory physiotherapist has been awarded the honour for her services to physiotherapy.

Mrs Swingwood has been a respiratory physiotherapist at the Bristol Royal Infirmary for nine years and is also the respiratory pathway lead at UHBW, the physiotherapy lead at NHS Nightingale Bristol and chair of the ACPRC (The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care).

The 39-year-old delayed the start of an NIHR clinical doctoral research fellowship PhD at the start of the pandemic to carry on working in a clinical support role.

She has also worked with Public Health England to develop guidelines and recommendations for physiotherapist interventions during Covid-19.

Mrs Swingwood, who lives in Gwent in Wales and started her PhD at the University of the West of England (UWE) in September, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was notified about the OBE.

“Although this is a personal award, I see it as being collaborative and a team effort. I couldn’t have achieved any of this without the support and efforts of so many wonderful colleagues.”

Michael Kevin Handel Beard OBE

The Ministry of Defence employee has been awarded an OBE for his services to defence.

The 54-year-old has worked for the Ministry of Defence in various roles since 1983 and has been with defence equipment and support since its inception in 2007, as well as working for bodies including the Defence Procurement Agency.

Mr Beard, who lives in Emersons Green, is now a deputy head on the Future Maritime Support Programme (FMSP).

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This year, he led a commercial team supporting DE&S’ corporate operations, which included support for both DE&S and the cross-government response to the COVID-19 effort.

He said: “I was genuinely shocked to find out I had been put forward for an OBE, but I am delighted to be honoured.

“It’s a great feeling knowing the way DE&S stood up during what was a very challenging year has been recognised.

“Everything we did in 2020 was a real team effort. This is testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise of the teams I have been fortunate enough to lead, and be a part of.”

Sarah Heide Marchant OBE

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The area business manager for the Crown Prosecution Service has been awarded an OBE for her services to law and order.

Ms Marchant joined the CPS in 2002 and became area business manager for the South West in 2011.

She is also the national CPS Area Business Manager lead for wellbeing, ensuring that wellbeing issues are at the forefront of business delivery and improvement and has worked across the organisation at a national level to continuously identify ways to improve support for staff health and wellbeing.

As ABM, Sarah played a lead role in CPS South West’s response to COVID-19, which enabled core CPS business to be maintained while ensuring the safety of staff and service users.

She added: “I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated for this award.

“This year has been a reminder of how important it is for every organisation to look out for the wellbeing of its employees and I am proud of what we have achieved within CPS, both in the South West and nationally.”

Oliver Dearden OBE

A volunteer at the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, Mr Dearden – from Westbury-on-Trym – has received the honour for his services to cultural heritage in the aviation industry.

Kim Ann Wide MBE

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Kim Ann Wide MBE, CEO of charity Take A Part
(Image: © Simon Keitch 2011)

The art producer and CEO of charity Take A Part has received the honour for her services to social engagement in the arts in the South West.

For 14 years, the Bristol resident has supported people in some of the most deprived wards in Plymouth to change their lives for the better.

Ms Wide, from Bishopston, said she was very surprised but pleased when she found out about the honour.

The 45-year-old said that, before accepting the MBE, she took some time to consider it because of its connotations.

Ms Wide concluded that she could do more good with the honour than without it by being able to bring more opportunities to the communities she works with and by giving them a bigger voice.

Saying she will celebrate the award with a ‘very fine bottle of wine’ with her husband, she added: “I am very honoured.

“I love absolutely everything about community building and creative engagement, about making art with people that is for people and by people.

“To say I am passionate about socially engaged practice and community building would be an understatement. I see it as my own activism. It means everything to me.”

Dr David John Evans MBE

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David Evans MBE is a consultant neonatologist
(Image: John Myers)

The consultant neonatologist at Southmead Hospital was awarded the MBE for his services to neonatology and medical education, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 56-year-old has been involved in postgraduate medical education for many years and has also held various roles with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health since 2012.

Dr Evans, from Bishopston, took a lead role both locally and nationally in the guidance generated for UK neonatal Units for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Initially worrying it may be an hoax, the consultant said it wasn’t until the day after he received the email that he thought it may be real.

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Dr Evans added: “It [receiving the honour] was totally unexpected.

“It almost feels like a duty to accept it as a recognition, not just for me, but the health service that has had to make huge changes [as a result of the pandemic].”

The consultant said that, even though coronavirus does not seem to affect babies, the pandemic had brought several challenges for neonatal units such as staffing shortages or changing the way they work by having to wear PPE or by introducing restrictions around visiting.

Zoe Alison Taylor MBE

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Zoe Taylor MBE – CEO of Sparkol – has received an honour for her services to exports
(Image: Unknown)

The CEO of Bristol-based Sparkol has received the honour for her services to exports.

Ms Taylor joined Sparkol, makers of leading whiteboard animation software videoScribe, in 2014 and became its owner in 2018.

Sparkol now exports to more than 180 countries and the firm employs 35 people in Bristol.

The 50-year-old said that, when she received the call earlier this month, she was absolutely over the moon but she then started fluctuating between this and having impostor syndrome.

Describing it as wonderful, Ms Taylor – who lives in Wraxall, North Somerset – said she was really pleased.

“As a small business to sell to more than 180 countries, it is something special to have that much reach across the globe,” she continued. “We created the product with the idea that it could be used by anyone everywhere.

“I feel that, all my success, I could not have achieved it without my team – we have worked so hard to achieve this.”

Ms Taylor also encouraged other people in business to look at the export opportunities available to team, adding it is not as difficult as it seems.

Dr Philip Cowburn MBE

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Dr Philip Cowburn MBE has worked at the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) as a consultant in emergency medicine since 2008
(Image: Adam Gasson / GWAAC)

The consultant has received the honour for his services to emergency medicine and to the Covid-19 response, having made an outstanding contribution to pre-hospital emergency patient care in a variety of settings for over twenty years.

The 53-year-old was one of the original doctors that set up the Great Western Air Ambulance in 2007, going on to be the medical director.

In his role as acute care medical director at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), he has led the advancement of pre-hospital critical care including the development of critical care paramedic practitioners.

When there was a real risk that hospital ITU beds would be overwhelmed, he was instrumental in establishing a new South West Region Critical Care Transfer Service – the first of its kind in England. This enabled the safe and rapid movement of critically ill COVID-19 patients between different hospitals to ensure no patient was denied access to ITU care.

Dr Cowburn, who lives in Gloucestershire and has worked at the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) as a consultant in emergency medicine since 2008, said: “I feel very honoured to have received an MBE but I see what I’ve done as being a very collaborative effort and I couldn’t have achieved any of this without the support of great colleagues in each of the organisations where I work.”

Margaret Ann Simmons-Bird MBE

The Bristol resident was head of education improvement from September 2014 to October 2016 and was then director of education transformation for Bath and North East Somerset Council from November 2016 until December 2019, when she retired.

She has received the honour for her services to education.

Keith Henry Francis Aston MBE

He has received an MBE for his services to the community in Bristol.

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson QPM

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(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

The Avon and Somerset Police assistant chief constable has been awarded a Queen’s Police Medal, which is awarded to police officers for distinguished service or gallantry.

ACC Watson is recognised for leading the Avon and Somerset policing response to the COVID-19 health crisis.

She joined Avon and Somerset Police in 1987 and, in more than 30 years’ service, she has pounded the beat in uniform, worked as a detective in the CID and commanded the East Somerset police area.

Her career has included developing a pilot programme to tackle domestic abuse using out of court disposals aimed at addressing perpetrators’ behaviour at an early stage.

ACC Watson has also worked to improve access to drug treatment for offenders and she’s the Avon and Somerset lead for gender, helping the service to create an environment where women can develop and thrive.

As an assistant chief constable her current responsibilities include overseeing the constabulary’s investigations and operations.

She said: “I always wanted to make a difference and it is an honour to serve the communities of Avon and Somerset. To receive the QPM for following my vocation makes me feel extremely grateful and proud.

“There are many others whose dedication and support have been key to how we have coped with policing during this pandemic, not least our communities who have given up so much to follow the regulations and guidance.

“I want to take this opportunity to say thank you.”

Superintendent Andrew Philip Bennett QPM

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(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

The Avon and Somerset Police superintendent has been awarded a Queen’s Police Medal.

Supt Bennett is recognised for his work tackling hate crime and bringing policing and communities closer.

He began his policing career as a special constable in Avon and Somerset in 1988 and then joined the Metropolitan Police in 1990, before returning to Avon and Somerset Police in 2002 following the birth of his second son.

Much of his 30 years in policing has been spent in neighbourhood roles working with the community, including a fondly-remembered period as the neighbourhood inspector for the area including Ashley and St Paul’s.

His current role includes having responsibility for neighbourhood officers across Bristol and working with partners to keep the most vulnerable in the city safe.

The dad-of-three is also Avon and Somerset’s hate crime lead, and is dedicated to the constabulary’s goal of making organisation more diverse and inclusive.

Supt Bennett – who was born and grew up in Bristol – said: “I am humbled to receive this award, particularly at a time when so many are working tirelessly to help others during the pandemic.

“I also want to recognise those members of the community who have been prepared to take a step forward, to talk to us and help to break down barriers so we can move towards our goal of truly representing the diverse citizens of Bristol.”

Sharon Elizabeth Gill BEM

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Sharon Elizabeth Gill has won seven world champion titles for kickboxing
(Image: Unknown)

Sharon Elizabeth Gill has received a BEM for her services to kickboxing and to young people in Bristol.

The 46-year-old lives in Filton and is one of the owners of GB Fit, which has two gyms in the city, in Horfield and in Ashton.

The seven-time kickboxing world champion runs martial art classes for children and adults and is also a British coach for the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO).

Ms Gill, who has been practising martial arts since the age of six – said she was ‘absolutely static’ when she receives the news about the honour.

“I am absolutely honoured,” she added. “I have won world titles, but to be honest this probably means more to me than anything.”

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Daniel Edward Gallimore BEM

The founder of charity Have Stick Will Travel has been awarded the BEM for his services to people with visual impairments in Bristol.

The 46-year-old – who lost his sight at the age of 21 after being assaulted – raises money for people with visual impairments, who can then apply for funds to purchase equipment that will improve their lives. This could be anything from computer software to magnifiers.

Mr Gallimore, from Henleaze, said: “I was shocked and honoured to be recognised in this way – it is very nice.

“I am still shocked about it now and, until I actually receive it in the New Year, it will not sink in.”

Peter William Elmont BEM

The chair of the Weston-Super-Mare fundraising branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has received the honour for his charitable services to maritime safety.

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