Special Honours Presented for Outstanding Services
Community champions, amazing achievers and Covid-19 heroes across South Tyneside have been honoured in style by order of Her Majesty The Queen.
The Lord Lieutenant of Tyne And Wear, Mrs Susan M. Winfield - the Queen's representative - presented awards to four recipients in a special ceremony at South Shields Town Hall, hosted by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay, and Mayoress, Jean Copp.
While Susan McVeigh formally received her OBE, British Empire Medals (BEMs) were also presented to David Scrafton, Nilima Rahman and Joshua Trueman.
The Lord Lieutenant said: "I was delighted to present the medals to such worthy recipients. Each of them has made an outstanding contribution to our communities and their honours are richly deserved. My congratulations to them all!'
Susan McVeigh was named as an OBE recipient in the 2021 New Year's Honours for her services to Tax and Compliance Apprentices. Susan's innovation, determination, passion and inspirational leadership led to HM Revenue and Customs setting up as an employer provider for its own tax apprenticeship, an approach which has transformed the organisation enabling it to provide quality training and recruit in volume.
David Scrafton was also awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2021 New Year's Honour for his services to the Scouts and the community of South Tyneside and Sunderland.
David joined Simonside Cricket Club as a young boy and for over 50 years has helped to raise funds that have enabled the club to continue providing opportunities for those who wished to play. He established the Sportman's Dinner encouraging sponsors and the wider community to attend. As Chairman, he led the club to thrive beyond some difficult financial challenges. He also took on the responsibility as Club President and Groundskeeper.
David's commitment to the Scouts has spanned over 20 years. Now Scout District President, he works tirelessly to improve the facilities and encourage young people from across the Borough to enjoy the outdoors.
British Empire Medals were also awarded to Nilima Rahman and Joshua Trueman in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2020 in recognition of their services during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Nilimawas praised for her services to the financial services sector and the community of South Shields. As a Virgin Money employee, Nilima led and improved the organisation's approach to handling financial enquiries coming through its new customer contact channel. Over a three-month period, Nilima supported more than 600 people, including customers who were vulnerable, in financial difficulty or on furlough as well as small businesses and concerned travellers.
Joshua Trueman, owner of laser-cutting business JT Workshop in Jarrow, was honoured for his services to key workers. At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Joshua responded to a call for help to make face mask clips. He produced more than 10,000 clips which were distributed across the UK to enable key workers to wear their protective masks comfortably.
He was later nominated in South Tyneside's #ProudtoSupport campaign, which was launched in April 2020 to honour unsung heroes who supported the local community during the pandemic. Joshua received the highest number of nominations for a #ProudtoSupport award.
The Mayor said: "It is wonderful to see the passion and determination of these individuals honoured in this way. These are extremely prestigious awards and richly deserved.
"It's particularly inspiring to hear about the incredible support for key workers and of people going above and beyond to help others at the height of the pandemic.
"On behalf of the people of South Tyneside, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the recipients of these awards for all their incredible work and dedication. They are wonderful ambassadors for our Borough."