Charity leaders among knights and dames in Queen's Birthday Honours 2017

19 Jun 2017 News

John Low

John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, and Barbara Frost, former chief executive of WaterAid, are among the charity sector figures to be celebrated in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

Low, who has been chief executive of CAF since 2007 and before that was chief executive of RNID, received a knighthood in the annual honours list which was published at the weekend. Frost was made a dame.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, the philanthropist and chair of the Shirley Foundation, was one of nine people to be made a Companion of Honour, in what is the honours centenary. Carolyn Hamilton, director of international programmes and research at Coram Children’s legal centre, was also made a dame. 

Over 1,000 people received honours, with many of them because of their connections to charities or community work. 

Low said: “I’m delighted and surprised to be honoured in this way, and of course most grateful. I’ve had great the pleasure of working with many highly capable people in some amazing organisations that together have made a lasting difference and I hope this recognition reflects on all our work together to change things for the better.

“My role, along with my colleagues at CAF, is to bring people together to support the work of tens of thousands of charities all over the world.  It has been a privilege to play a part in building the capacity of civil society to transform the lives of beneficiaries.”

Frost was who was the chief executive of WaterAid retired earlier this year, and received the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Charity Awards in 2015, also said she was “delighted” and praised the “team of spirited trustees, staff, volunteers, supporters and partners are WaterAid's life blood and together they collaborate and inspire action”. 


The following figures from the charity sector were among those to be made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire: 

  • Pauline Broomhead, founding chief executive of the Foundation for Social Improvement  
  • Wayne Bulpit, former UK chief commissioner of the Scout Association  
  • David Godfrey, non-executive director at Charity Bank
  • Barbara Gubbins, chief executive, County Durham Community Foundation
  • Alan Smith, chair of RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises
  • Stephanie Spring, chair of Children in Need
  • Gregory Wood, chair of NSPCC


Charity sector figures who were made Officers of the Order of the British Empire include: 

  • Catherine Ashley, lately chair, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust 
  • Professor David Clark, a Wellcome Trust investigator, University of Glasgow
  • Christopher Darmon, chair of the Youth Hostel Association
  • Brendan Joyce, chief executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust
  • Keith Knowles, chief executive of Beds and Bars
  • Joan Lawton, independent member of TACT Adoption and permanence panel and member, TACT board of trustees
  • Margaret Parks, chief executive or Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Cornwall. 
  • Caroline Underwood, founder and chief executive of Philanthropy Company
  • Sandeep Singh Virdee, founder and director, Darbar Arts Culture and Heritage Trust
  • Melanie Waters, lately chief executive of The Poppy Factory


Volunteers for a number of charities, including the Samaritans, NSPCC, the Salvation Army and SSAFA were recognised by being made members of the Order of the British Empire. 

Others who received an MBE include: 

  • Suzanne Hudson, chief executive of Bipolar UK
  • Nigel Harris, director of the Camden LGBT Forum
  • Julie Jennings, former manager, children, young people and families at RNIB
  • Danny Kruger, founder of the criminal justice charity Only Connect


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