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British Empire Medals awarded to Staffordshire residents

Five more Staffordshire residents have been awarded prestigious personal Honours by His Majesty the King for their invaluable contributions to their local communities.

The winners were announced in the 2023 Birthday Honours lists.

Yesterday, Wednesday November 22, the recipients attended a special ceremony hosted by the Vice Chairman of Staffordshire County Council at County Buildings in Stafford. Medals were presented to the winners by the Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Ian Dudson CBE KStJ on behalf of His Majesty the King, watched by their family and friends.

The recipients were:

  • Claire Marie Bond - for services to Women in Policing and the community of Staffordshire

  • Nigel Thomas Bowers - for services to Heritage

  • Dr Naomi Forrester-Soto - for services to Public Communication during Covid-19.

  • Frank Meakin - for services to Young People in Stoke-on-Trent

  • George Sydney Wright - for services to Voluntary services to Veterans in Staffordshire

Nigel Bowers BEM said: “I have been involved with Chatterley Whitfield for the past 11 years, helping to preserve the past for the future. It has been an unexpected honour and a privilege to be awarded the BEM for services to heritage.”

Claire Bond BEM said: “I am extremely proud and honoured to be receiving the British Empire Medal. A huge thanks go to my family and Staffordshire Police for helping me through my recovery and assisting me in raising all the charity funds I have achieved once I was able to walk again. It has been hard work, but I have found it has been an absolute pleasure and part of my healing process to be able to give back to those worse off than me.”

Naomi Forrester-Soto BEM said: “I am delighted to receive this award for answering questions on COVID-19 during the pandemic. I enjoyed the discussions on all the programmes, but particularly enjoyed the discussions with Radio Stoke and Stuart George and the ongoing conversations with listeners whose questions were insightful and who I enjoyed being able to communicate the science behind COVID-19 and viruses in general. Many thanks to all those who submitted.”

Vice chairman of the county council Colin Greatorex said: “It was a great privilege for me to host these presentations and honour these fantastic people from Staffordshire, who have done so much for our communities. They have all made invaluable contributions in their services and it was a great pleasure to see them receive such prestigious recognition from His Majesty for their hard work given over many years”.

Ian Dudson, Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, added: "The British Empire Medal is now fully re-established as a significant and much-admired part of our Honours system, often uniquely recognising voluntary contributions at a very local community level.

“I am delighted that we now have another investiture for five more Staffordshire residents who have been awarded Personal Honours recently. Their wonderful contributions have been recognised accordingly and I am privileged to have presented their Medals on behalf of His Majesty The King.”

People can find out more by visiting the overview or voluntary service websites.


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