NEW YEAR HONOUR FOR RNLI MAN
MBE for 55 years volunteering at Holyhead station:
A ROCK star, a double-amputee Afghan veteran and a lifeboat volunteer are among those from North Wales recognised on the New Year’s Honours list.
The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “These honours recognise and celebrate the hardwork and achievements of the incredible people who go above and beyond to put others before themselves.
“From household names to those silently serving their communities...I am proud to see people from all walks of Welsh life being recognised for their commitment to their cause.”
Internationally acclaimed musician and healthcare campaigner,
Mike Peters has been awarded an MBE for services to charity having raised thousands for cancer care projects in the UK and abroad and dedicating his life to giving hope for families affected by the disease.
Mike, who was born in Prestatyn and grew up in Rhyl, formed rock band The Alarm in 1981 and went on to achieve worldwide success with the band performing alongside the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.
The 59-year-old father-of-two made a recovery from lymph cancer in 1996 only to receive the devastating news that he was suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in 2005.
He set up a sponsored walk up Snowdon, called Snowdon Rocks and following the success of the event, Mike co-founded the Love Hope Strength Foundations in the US and UK with Texan leukaemia transplant survivor, James Chippendale. In the past decade, the foundations have collectively gone on to raise more than £1m for cancer projects through their international trek and events programme, with over £600,000 being raised by the charity in the UK.
Mike also spearheaded the By Your Side cancer care campaign for Awyr Las, the North Wales NHS Charity, which raised more than £350,000 for cancer services in the region.
Partnering with the Leukaemia charity, DKMS to help launch the Get on the List programme, Mike has seen over 200,000 people added to blood stem cell donor registries, which has resulted in more than 4,000 potentially life saving matches being identified.
He said: “MBE must stand for a multitude of brilliant efforts, because that’s what lies behind everything that I’ve achieved – not my own efforts, but other people’s.
“Love Hope Strength Foundations...have saved lives and changed lives over the past decade.
“This is thanks to the support of hundreds of volunteers, thousands of supporters including our brilliant Alarm fans and a great many musicians who have got behind the cause. “This MBE really is for them. “I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for my family and for all they have done to support me over the years, especially my wife, Jules.
“Of course I also most certainly wouldn’t be here were it not for the NHS staff who have cared for me through the years.”
Holyhead lifeboat station volunteer Graham Drinkwater (pictured above right) has been honoured with an MBE for his services to the RNLI charity.
The 71-year-old, from Holyhead, has spent 55 years volunteering at the station since 1963.
Graham’s first ever service call came when he was 19 years old, a rescue mission to save the Greek cargo ship Nafsiporos.
Unbeknown to him, this rescue would go down in history and he was awarded a medal for bravery after the heroic rescue of 19 crew from the freighter in 100mph hurricane winds and 35 foot waves.
He went on to give many years of unwavering service to the lifeboat station. Before changing roles from crew member to leading the station’s volunteers as lifeboat operations manager, Graham had assisted 439 lives at sea during his time as crew.
Graham said: ‘It is a great honour to be awarded an MBE and it is very humbling. It is a reflection on all RNLI volunteers that I have served with over many years and hopefully many years to come. It is not something that can be done on your own.”
Shaun Stocker from Wrexham has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his services to charity.
The 28-year-old (pictured right) suffered catastrophic wounds while serving in Afghanistan in April 2010 at the age of 19, but he has now established a successful property development business and is a motivational speaker.
He works with the charity, British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association where he talks to secondary school kids.
He works at a wing named in his honour for exservicemen at Berwyn Prison, Wrexham.
He has raised over £60,000 for Blind Veterans UK (BVU) through his Stockers Strides 100km charity walk in 2016. He raised £6,000 for BVU by walking up and down Snowdon in 2017. Shaun said: “Hearing that I’m to be in the New Years Honour’s List for 2019 was an unbelievable surprise. “The charity work that I’ve been involved with over the last eight years has really given me a goal which has helped my rehabilitation and inspired me to give something back to the organisations that helped me.” Tomos Hughes (pictured left) has been awarded a BEM for voluntary services to the Welsh Ambulance Service in the Conwy Valley. The 43-year-old, from Cerrigydrudion, Conwy, has been instrumental in leading the setting up, funding and installation of a number of defibrillators. He has now increased the number of external defibrillators across North Wales to 78, even placing one onto the summit of Snowdon.
Tomos also volunteers his time to train members of the public how to use the device and to perform CPR. He qualified as a Community First Responder (CFR) with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust in 1999. Since then, he has attended hundreds of 999 calls.
Tomos said: “I was completely shocked and overwhelmed when I received my invitation New Year’s Honours list. “I would like to thank the communities for their support and my family and friends along with my colleagues from Welsh Ambulance Service,” Tomos added.
Anglesey-based Joshua Bratchley has been awarded an MBE following his role in the daring cave rescue of 12 boys in Thailand.
Mr Bratchley, 27, a Met Office meteorologist based at RAF Valley, in Anglesey, was one of several British divers recognised for their operation to save the boys. Mr Bratchley said it was “incredible to be recognised in such a way”.
“We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who helped us in any capacity and make it clear that such a rescue could never work otherwise,” he said.
Author Philip Pullman has been awarded a knighthood for services to literature.
The best-selling writer, who grew up in Gwynedd, said he was “very surprised and honoured” to be given the award. The son of an RAF pilot, Pullman moved to Llanbedr, Gwynedd, aged about 10, and studied at Ysgol Ardudwy in Harlech. He has often spoken about how growing up in North Wales has helped inspire his life and work. Queen’s Ambulance Award-winning Gill Pleming (pictured left) joined the former Gwynedd County Ambulance Service in 1982 and became a control manager following the merger of county ambulance services into the North Wales Ambulance Service. Gill managed the clinical contact centre at Llanfairfechan and played a leading role in the introduction of the trust’s new computeraided dispatch system in 2017. Gill said: “I feel privileged, honoured and humbled to have won this award.”
● Jules and Mike Peters