Four Northumberland men receive New Year's honours from the Queen

Four Northumberland men have received New Year’s honours from the Queen.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 10:30 pm
Flying the flag for Northumberland

Morpeth man Gordon Moore receives an MBE for services to mental health and people with learning disabilities in Northumberland.

The 69-year-old is chief executive of Blyth Star Enterprises and has worked in the mental health field for 44 years.

He has opened seven independent living flats and founded a charity which filled service gaps locally, helping clients who face social isolation and neglect.

Chief executive at Blyth Star Enterprises, Gordon Moore, front centre, who is being honoured with an MBE.

A particular focus has been on resettling and supporting those who have spent many years in hospitals or institutions.

Through training, employment and social support, he takes an holistic approach to help service users. Ex-service users and volunteers are now paid members of staff.

He has built a ‘safe place’ where carers and professionals have full confidence in the ethos of caring and compassion instilled by him into the culture of the organisation.

He has also helped change the attitudes of the wider public about those who struggle with psychiatric conditions.

John Thompson, chairman of demolition and haulage firm Thompsons of Prudhoe, receives an MBE for services to the economy and community.

The 77-year-old has led and developed Thompsons of Prudhoe and in 2018, they had a turnover of £35.8m and an increase in staff numbers to 305.

He formed the Thompson Environmental Trust, which has donated over £1m to 100+ environmental projects across the region.

As president of the Prudhoe Community Allotment which he helped fund, he has seen it win a series of awards including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

His support allowed the creation of the Prudhoe Millennium Tapestry now on permanent display, and a £500 donation to the Prudhoe Aged People’s Trust funds a Christmas party each year.

He personally funded and organised the building of a quiet garden space at a local school.

He also organises bi-annual pro-am competitions to purchase equipment for Women’s Cancer Detection support at the Queens Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead, raising over £25,000.

Hugh Steele was head teacher at the Dales Special School until last December. His MBE is for services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

He formed ‘The Blyth Hub’, a multi-disciplinary team which gives direct access to the right services for children and families and, in 2007, developed a family support team

His leadership of The Dales School saw the school grow from 26 places in 2010 to 96 places in 2018, and the school being rated outstanding by Ofsted in September 2013 and 2018.

Eric Dickson, from Blyth, received a BEM for services to blind and visually impaired people in south east Northumberland.

The 79-year-old has been instrumental in the production of the Blyth and District Talking Newspaper

For the last 17 years he has voluntarily ensured the news goes out on time, being present at every recording session to operate the equipment, edit it and send for distribution.

Realising the need to move from audio tape, he researched equipment suitable for independent use by blind people, obtained grants to buy this, then personally delivered, demonstrated and gave individual training in its use to all the listeners in their own homes.