York charity leader and former city council chief among those receiving New Year Honours

Julia Unwin

The New Year Honours are out – and a number of well-known York names are recognised for their work, alongside music legends and sports stars.

These include a former City of York Council chief executive, a charity leader, a man who works to raise awareness of the Holocaust and a business leader.

One of the most notable honours goes to Julia Unwin, who is made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


Julia was the chief executive of the York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust from 2007 until the end of 2016.

She was a member of the Housing Corporation Board for 10 years and a Charity Commissioner from 1998-2003.

In January 2017 she was appointed as a non-executive director at Yorkshire Water. She chairs the Independent Inquiry on the Future of Civil Society which reported in November 2018.

Julia told YorkMix:

  • This is a huge honour but the real honour should be with the many thousands of voluntary organisations in York and beyond which work so tirelessly to connect people through civil society in our very troubled and disturbing times.

    And particularly the organisations and groups supporting people who are otherwise overlooked and ignored.

Cricketing honour

Kersten England, when she was chief executive of City of York Council
Kersten England, who was chief executive of City of York Council before taking up the same role at Bradford Council, is made Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Her award is for services to the economy and community in Bradford.

The same award goes to Colin Graves, who founded the Costcutter chain based at Dunnington. He is honoured for services to cricket – he is chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, and previously held the same role at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.


Richard Elam is a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire, for services to business and the community in York.

Richard co-founded Evora Construction Ltd in 2009, based at Clifton Moor. He is also passionate about giving back to others with charity fundraising through challenges and sporting feats and enjoys working with York Cares.

Receiving the same honour is Marc Schatzberger. The Holocaust survivor and York resident receives the award for services to Holocaust Education and Awareness.

Richard Elam
Marc was born in Vienna, the only child of Jewish parents. He arrived in England aged 12 as a refugee in 1939. His father, mother, uncle and aunt all died in Auschwitz.

He tours schools and universities talking about the Holocaust.

For the emergency services, Detective Sergeant Angie Carey of North Yorkshire Police receives the Queen’s Police Medal.

DS Carey is a dedicated officer who has been on the frontline of child and adult safeguarding for twenty-five years.

And Trevor Baldwin, senior manager at the Emergency Operations Centre, Yorkshire Ambulance NHS Trust, receives the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal.


Angela Knowles, one of the original Calendar Girls from North Yorkshire who became global sensations after posing naked for a WI calendar, is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

She is president and fundraiser for Bloodwise, and she is honoured for services to blood cancer research.

Receiving the same award is Easingwold councillor Peter Sowray, for services to the community in North Yorkshire.

The big names

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Olivia Newton-John is among an array of figures from the arts who are honoured today, having been made a dame for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment, while critically acclaimed Bond director Sam Mendes gets a knighthood for his contribution to drama.

From politics, Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of the controversial Universal Credit system, is knighted alongside colleague Bob Neill.

Cricket, unsurprisingly, features heavily after England’s first men’s World Cup victory last summer.

Off the back of the triumph, 28-year-old Ben Stokes, the newly-crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, will be given an OBE.

One-day international captain Eoin Morgan gets a CBE and teammates Joe Root and Jos Buttler become MBEs.

Coach Trevor Bayliss is made an OBE and Clive Lloyd, 75, a former West Indies team captain, sees his CBE upgraded to a knighthood for services to the game.

Entertainment is well represented, with 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen becoming a knight for services to film.

Several musicians have also made the prestigious list, including Billy Ocean, 69, born Leslie Sebastian Charles, who becomes an MBE for services to music.


Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody is made an OBE for services to music and charity in Northern Ireland after he set up the Lightbody Foundation, which gives annual donations to charities across the country.

Chef Ainsley Harriott and Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain are made MBEs, while food writer Nigel Slater gets an OBE for services to cookery and literature.

Wine writer and broadcaster Robert “Oz” Clarke gets an OBE for services to journalism, while BBC Radio 1’s longest-serving presenter Annie Nightingale gets a CBE for services to radio after previously receiving an MBE.

Nadiya Hussain. Photograph: BBC / YouTube

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