King's Honours Presented for Outstanding Services

Posted by: Kaye Russell on 05 March 2024 11:07

South Tyneside community champions have been honoured by order of His Majesty King Charles III.

The Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Lucy Winskell - the King's representative - presented awards to two recipients in a special ceremony at South Shields Town Hall, hosted by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor John McCabe.

Julia Robinson and Tara Mackings were both presented with their prestigious British Empire Medals (BEM) having been named in King Charles III's first Birthday Honours List since his Coronation last year.

Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear Lucy Winskell is pictured with British Empire Medal recipients Julia Robinson and Tara Mackings, and the Mayor, at South Shields Town Hall.

The Lord Lieutenant said: "It was wonderful to be able to present the medals to such worthy recipients. Their contribution to their local communities is outstanding. These honours are so richly deserved."

Julia Robinson was named as a BEM recipient in the 2023 King's Birthday Honours for her services to public libraries and to the community.

She leads the South Tyneside Libraries team playing a key role in growing and promoting the service as a real hub for local communities and welcoming inclusive places for people of all ages and abilities to engage in a wide range of exciting activities and opportunities and arts and culture in all its forms.

She steered the service through the difficult covid years while also supporting vulnerable residents and continues to champion libraries and arts and culture locally, regionally and nationally.

Tara Mackings was honoured for her services to her community having developed an accessible fitness, leisure and wellbeing project through her company Tailored Leisure, which is known in the northeast for its ethos and vision to overcome the barriers and social exclusion faced by disabled people.

As Founder and Director, Tara used her time during the covid pandemic to develop, shape and enhance the company's services by consulting people with disabilities.

Her 'Sit to be fit at home' initiative led to a new programme that supporting people to access sessions online. Since then, the company has grown to offer fitness support and has joined forces with Haven holidays to launch their first accessible short stay breaks for families in Berwick.

The Mayor said: "To be named for an award in the King's Birthday Honours list is such an incredible achievement and I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to both Tara and Julia for their amazing work, particularly during what was an exceptionally difficult and challenging period for all.

"British Empire Medals are extremely prestigious awards and to see the passion and determination of these individuals recognised in this way is wonderful.

"On behalf of the people of South Tyneside, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank them both for the amazing support they have given to their local communities."

Last modified: 05 March 2024 11:10