RESIDENTS who know someone in their community who has gone the extra mile are being urged to speak up to ensure they get their rightful honour.
The Honours are announced at the start of the new year and around the time of the Queen’s official birthday in June.
But while celebrities regularly hit the headlines for scooping knighthoods, MBEs and OBES, just 6.9 per cent of honours went to people in the West Midlands region. In last year’s Birthday Honours the West Midlands made up just 5.1 per cent of the list.
Anyone can nominate someone, such as a colleague, friend, relative or sports or community leader for an award. In addition to nominations from members of the public, Government departments ask schools, hospitals, local authorities, and similar organisations for suggestions of potential candidates.
Anyone can receive an award, if they reach the required standard of merit or service.
Nationally, up to 1,300 individuals are recognised through the honours system every year.
Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the Civil Service, said: “We encourage nominations from all sections of society from all over the country and we’d particularly like to see more people from the West Midlands region receiving recognition for their achievements.
“Some people may think honours are largely reserved for certain professions or backgrounds but they really are for everyone who has done a great job for their community and helped make the country a better place to live.
“Recipients have included people who have spent years fostering children, raising money for charity, made a difference by serving tirelessly on committees, helping people to take part in sports or doing valuable work in the voluntary sector.”
Local Honour recipients include Kevin Lee of Stafford, who was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM), in this year's Birthday Honours for servicesto policing.
Kevin joined Staffordshire Police in 1977 and worked as both a response officer and more lately as a local neighbourhood officer in Rugeley, before retiring following 34 dedicated years' service. He then applied to become a Special Constable and joined the day following his retirement.
Residents within his local beat area feel privileged to retain his services and he is a well established and integral part of the local community.
Kevin also mentors other Special Constables who benefit enormously from his knowledge and vast experience of community policing. As a Special Constable, he completes 40 hours of voluntary service within the neighbourhood every week, dealing with a wide range of policing activities, from preventing and investigating crime to supporting victims and the more vulnerable members of the community.
For more information on the honours process and a nomination visit www.gov.uk/honours or phone the honours team in the Cabinet Office on 020 7276 2777.