Commission chief made a dame in King’s Birthday Honours


The outgoing chief executive of the Charity Commission has been made a dame in the King’s Birthday Honours. 

Helen Stephenson, who will step down at the end of July after seven years in the role, said the honour was a “recognition of the essential role charities have in our society and the fantastic team who work at the Charity Commission”. 

Stephenson, who was appointed CBE in 2014, said: “It has been a privilege to serve as chief executive for the past seven years and I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved in that time.”

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, who founded Karma Nirvana, the charity for victims and survivors of honour-based abuse, in 1993, was also made a dame for services to victims of child, forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

A knighthood for services to music was given to Roger Wright CBE, who has been chief executive of the music charity Britten Pears Arts for a decade, but is stepping down in July.

There was a CBE for Mark Dowie, who is currently chief executive of the Royal National Lifeboat Charity but will step down on 26 June. 

The same honour was awarded to Charles Byrne, former director-general of the Royal British Legion; Emily Holzhausen OBE, director of policy and public affairs at Carers UK; and Michael Norton OBE, founder, honorary director and trustee of the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action.

OBEs were awarded to Ruth Marvel, chief executive of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; Leigh Middleton, chief executive of the National Youth Agency; Margaret Moore, vice-chair of the board of the Fundraising Regulator; and Mark Simms, chief executive of P3 charity and a Charity Commission board member.

The same honour was awarded to Sally Light, former chief executive of the Motor Neurone Disease Association; Richard Angell, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust; Daniela Barone Soares, chief executive of Snowball Impact Investments; Kieron Boyle, chief executive of the Impact Investing Institute; Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland; and Nick Temple, chief executive of the Social Investment Business.

OBEs also went to Carol Boys, chief executive of Down’s Syndrome Association; Ed Bracher, current chief executive of Dogs for Good and former chief of Riding for the Disabled; Jo Broadwood, chief executive of Leap Confronting Conflict; Ben Cairns, founder and director of the Institute for Voluntary Action; and Lesslie Young, chief executive of Epilepsy Scotland.

There were MBEs for a number of voluntary sector figures, including Nicola Abraham, founder of the Jacob Abraham Foundation; Alan Ashton, chief executive of St Helens Carers Centre; Rachel Century, deputy chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust; Cathy Dean, former chief executive of Save the Rhino International; Nicola Close, chief executive of the Association of Directors of Public Health; David Fisher, executive director of client services at St Mungo’s; Fedir Kurlak, chief executive of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain; and Sharon Lomas, chief executive of The Royal Theatrical Fund.

The Cabinet Office said that, of the 1,077 people who received an honour, 692 had undertaken outstanding work in their communities in either a voluntary or paid capacity. Of those recognised at a CBE level or above, 40 per cent were women and 10 per cent came from an ethnic minority background.

The oldest recipient was Harold Jones, who received a BEM at the age of 100 for his fundraising for charities relating to motor neurone disease and the community in Sutton Coldfield.

The youngest recipient was Shamza Butt, a 20-year-old student at Leeds Trinity University, who was honoured with a BEM for her work as a member of the National Citizens’ Service Trust Youth Voice Forum.

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