Charity leaders recognised in Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours list

06 Jun 2022 News

Dozens of charity leaders were among those who received awards in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours list.

Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley was awarded an OBE while former head of the Association of Medical Research Charities Aisling Burnand received an MBE.

Some 1,134 people were included on the list, which was published last Wednesday and recognises individuals who have made “outstanding contributions” across a range of sectors.


Avnish Goyal was awarded CBE for his work during the Covid-19 pandemic. He is the chair of Care England, Hallmark Care Homes and Championing Social Care.

Over the last seven years, Goyal has led several initiatives to support the sector including campaigning for better funding for social care and appointing a commissioner for the elderly. 

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: “Avnish’s contribution to society goes far beyond his work in care, and through his philanthropy, in the UK and internationally, through his work with the Hemraj Goyal Foundation he has transformed the lives of thousands of people.”

Jane Hanson, chair of Reclaim Fund Ltd (RFL) and the Dormant Assets Expansion board, received a CBE. She joined the board in 2011 as chair of the audit and risk committee and became chair in 2014. 

Hanson is also a trustee and honorary treasurer of the Disasters Emergency Committee and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Her other roles include chair of the audit committee and non-executive director of Welsh Water plc and audit committee chair at the Civil Aviation Authority. 

Adrian Smith, chief executive of RFL, said: “She has played an instrumental role in the success of the Dormant Assets Scheme since it was launched in 2011, resulting in £800m of new funding to tackle social challenges such as homelessness, youth unemployment and financial exclusion.”


Mike Edwards, who is an ambassador and trustee for Erskine, a Scottish charity that support veterans, received an OBE. 

After working as a reporter for STV News for 25 years, Edwards became a full-time carer for his mother who suffered from dementia. When she passed away in 2019, he devoted himself to charity work.  

Edwards also sits on the board of the Royal Highland Fusiliers Trust, Highlanders Regimental Museum, Loch Lomond Rescue Boat and Glasgow Humane Society. 

Commenting on his award, he said: “I am deeply humbled and totally shocked and surprised to receive this award. I can’t believe I have been awarded this honour. It’s all the more special because it’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”

Jane Byam Shaw, trustee of the Felix Project, also received an OBE.

The food redistribution charity delivered 70% more food than in 2020 and is on track to deliver 40 million meals this year for people in need. 

Charlotte Hill, chief executive of the Felix Project, said: “We are proud to see Jane recognised with this award; Jane is the heart and soul of our project.”

Joyce Fraser, founder of Black Heroes Foundation, was also awarded an OBE.  

She said: “This honour is not just for me, but also for the whole black community. It is a great way to honour the legacy of my late husband, ‘Flip’ Fraser, who was in the process of setting up the Black Heroes Foundation when he became ill and sadly passed away in 2014.”


Di Vernom, the founder and chief executive of EmployabilityUK, received an MBE for her work supporting disadvantaged young people.

She said: “I am shocked and delighted to have been listed in this year’s Queen’s Honours list. I feel extremely privileged to do the work that I do and to be able to make such a positive difference to young people’s lives.  

“I am also hugely appreciative of the continued support of all of our amazing volunteers working with us at EmployabilityUK, as without them, I would simply not have been able to achieve this.”

Safia Jama, founder and chief executive officer of Women’s Inclusive Team (WIT), a charity that aims to improve the lives of Black and ethnic minority women and their families, was also awarded an MBE. 

To tackle the pandemic, Jama and WIT gathered over 500 volunteers to support vulnerable people in Tower Hamlet by creating a food bank and community kitchen.

They also worked with charity Barnardo’s to ensure Black children had fair and equal access to education and support services. 

WIT also became a vaccine centre and set up a mental health support to residents who were isolating. 

Jama said: “I’m truly humbled to have been given such a title and being recognised on such a level will go down as one of the greatest highlights of my career. It shows that the work we do is necessary and seen. But, I know that our work is not done. I will continue to highlight the lives of Black Muslim Somali women and their families who experience extreme inequality and racism.”

Five volunteers and staff at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) were recognised for helping the charity saves lives at sea. 

•    Lynn Spillett was awarded an MBE for her fundraising efforts. She joined the Brixham Lifeboat Guild, now known as Torbay Lifeboat, in 2006.
•    Guy Addington received an MBE for his efforts saving lives at sea, his role as water safety lead for the South East and his year-long fundraiser. He joined the lifeboat crew at Margate in 1994. 
•    Angus Watson received an MBE. He retired as a former engineering and supply director last October after 30 years of service.
•    John J MacLennan also received an MBE. He has been with RNLI for more than 50 years where he has worked as sea-going crew and deputy launching authority. He is currently chair of the Lifeboat Management Group at Stornoway. 
•    Patricia Browner was awarded a British Empire Medal for her 42 years of service to the RNLI. She was chair of the Portaferry Fundraising Branch for 27 years.

Mark Dowie, chief executive of RNLI said: “In this Platinum Jubilee year, it is especially pleasing to see both RNLI volunteers and staff from across four of our lifesaving regions recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.“ 

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