A pub landlady who has helped raise £600,000 for charity is one of FOUR Hyndburn residents recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Susan Johnson, who chairs the Macmillan Cancer Support Hyndburn fundraising committee, has been awarded an MBE for services supporting patients with cancer care.
Catherine Hill, from Oswaldtwistle, who previously held positions at Accrington and Rossendale College and Burnley College, has been awarded an OBE for services to education, and is joined by Jean Spence, from Rishton, who has collected a BEM for services to Education and the Rishton community.
Phil Vincent-Barwood, who is the chairman of the Prospects Foundation in Hyndburn, has also received an MBE for services to the environment and community.
Former Hyndburn Mayoress Susan Johnson said she was ‘reduced to tears’ and left ‘completely stunned’ after finding out about her award.
She said: “I’m still recovering from it. It took me completely by surprise. I was completely stunned and it reduced me to tears. I have been so overwhelmed by it.
“It is something you read about in the papers and you don’t think it is going to be you.”
Susan, who has run the Peel Park Hotel on Turkey Street in Accrington for 13 years, was told about her award at the end of November and admits it has been difficult keeping the news under wraps.
Susan, who also serves as a magistrate, is married to David and has two children Sarah and David.
Father-of-two Phil Barwood, from Accrington, helped launch the environmental charity Prospects back in 1998 after leaving his role at Hyndburn council after 21 years.
Phil, 67, said the award reflects all the hard work by staff and volunteers over the years.
He said: “I got a letter from the Cabinet Office and I didn’t know what it was until I opened it.
“The first words were ‘The Prime Minister has asked me to write to you’. I just thought ‘blimey what’s going on here?’
“I was astonished. It is not something I ever thought about. It came as a complete surprise and of course I was delighted.
“I wouldn’t say I feel a bit phoney but a lot of credit for what Prospects has achieved over the years has been due to the many other people, our staff team and hundreds of volunteers. I’m very pleased but credit is due to them as well.
Phil, who is married to Anne Hourican, served as head of planning at the council for nine years until taking early retirement and has been chairman of Prospects for 16 of the last 18 years.
School governor and church stalwart Jean Spence has been left ‘dumbstruck’ after receiving a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Years Honours List.
Jean, who worked as a teacher at St Peter and St Paul’s primary school for 24 years and later as deputy head, has been recognised for her serviced to education and the community in Rishton.
The grandmother-of-three, 83, said it was a ‘lovely surprise’.
She said: “I was just dubmstruck really. When something like that comes out of the blue you don’t know what to think.
“I have always done things that needed doing with the school, church and community. You don’t expect any honours for it.
“I’m just catching my breath.”
Jean, of St Alban’s Road, is now a governor at the school and has been involved with the Parish Church as a church warden, clerk and PCC member.
Catherine Hill, deputy principal of Blackpool and The Fylde College, has been rewarded for 30 years of service to the further education sector with an OBE.
She said: “It gives me great pleasure to accept this honour. I am humbled that the work that I am so fervently passionate and committed to has been recognised.
“I would like to thank the teams of people I have worked with across the years, all of whom played a role in me receiving this honour.”