New Year Honours: Region's sport, education and community champions make 2022 list

Saj Ghafoor has already had a brush with royalty, when she met the Queen at a Commonwealth Diaspora community reception in 2018. Credit: PA

The 2022 New Year Honours list includes 11 names from Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway, and the Scottish Borders.

Among them are champions of education, sport coaching, diversity and their communities.

Meet those honoured by the Queen for their extraordinary achievements.

Cumbrian awards:

Saj Ghafoor

  • Order of the British Empire (OBE)

  • Services to Cultural Awareness and Integration in Cumbria

  • Carlisle, Cumbria

Saj Ghafoor is CEO of Multicultural Cumbria, a Carlisle-based charity which aims to "enable, engage and empower diasporas to create a truly multicultural county".

She promotes grass roots engagement and delivers regular talks on Pakistani and Indian culture to foster understanding and cultural sharing.

An honorary fellow at the University of Cumbria, Ghafoor strives to bring communities together to celebrate who they are and preserve their cultural heritage.

Jon Gibson

  • British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Services to Cricket Coaching and Youth Development

  • Cockermouth, Cumbria

Gibson is a cricket coach previously commended in the 2018 UK Coaching Awards for his role in nurturing Ben Stokes into an England legend.

Ben Stokes started his cricket journey at Cockermouth Cricket Club, where Gibson worked with him to develop his batting, bowling and fielding - abilities central to England's 2019 Cricket World Cup win.

Gibson has helped countless children reach their cricketing potential throughout a long career in the sport.

Gibson and Stokes

Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Timothy Coombe

  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Services to the Community in Brampton, Cumbria

  • Carlisle, Cumbria

Timothy Coombe works to make communities more resilient and sustainable.

Among his achievements, Coombe lists installing an anaerobic digestion plant in Brampton, helping the rural market town recycle farm waste and grass silage to produce sufficient electrical power for about 150 homes.

Margaret Emma Bravo

  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Services to Education

  • Carlisle, Cumbria

Margaret Bravo is manager of St Peter's Pre-School in Carlisle, which she ran for over 50 years after founding it in 1969.

At the age of 86, Bravo continues to inspire children at the school, coming up with inventive ways to educate and entertain them.

Neil Fleming

  • British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Services to the Community in Ulverston, Cumbria during Covid-19

  • Ulverston, Cumbria

Neil Fleming has co-ordinated volunteer efforts throughout the pandemic.

According to The Mail, by February 2021 a volunteers for a vaccination programme co-organised by Fleming had worked over 1,000 hours.

He also joined forces with another member of the local community to establish the Ulverston Self-Isolation Group with the initial aim of helping those who were self-isolating.

John Wall

  • British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Charitable services in Cumbria

John Wall has been honoured for his charitable accomplishments in Cumbria.

Dumfries and Galloway

Debrah Murdoch 

  • British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Services to the Community 

  • Balmaclellan, Dumfries and Galloway

According to the Daily Record, the shop owner was among the kind-hearted volunteers who helped those worst affected by the pandemic.

She had to sell the shop this year, which led to an outpouring of grateful messages on the shop's Facebook page.

"You’ve done a wonderful job running the shop and attending to the needs of the residents of Balmaclellan – especially during the Pandemic," one read. "The village won’t be the same without you."

Hardip Singh Atwal

  • British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Charitable services

  • Annan, Dumfries and Galloway

Hardip Atwal has made local press on many occasions, and is well-known in Annan for his selfless actions.

In March, his family's post office was named best in the country for customer service, with the branch's staff being commended for "going the extra mile for customers during the pandemic."

Back in 2018, he launched a teddy bear collection for underprivileged children, as reported by The Daily Record.

Stewart Parsons

  • British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Services to the Music and Library sectors

  • Dumfries and Galloway

Stewart Pearson is director at Get it Loud in Libraries, which is "designed to give people who love music, the chance to see top-notch artists in their local library".

Since 2005, it has delivered high quality gigs in libraries in towns and cities all over the UK, featuring breakthrough and established music acts such as Adele, Jessie J, Plan B, Cate Le Bon, Clean Bandit, Juliette Lewis, Meilyr Jones and many more.

Pearson is being awarded to Services to Music and Library sectors.

The Scottish borders

Lynsey Cargill and Helen Ramsey

  • British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • services to the community in during COVID-19

  • Ancrum, Roxburghshire

This mother and daughter team have supported the community of Ancrum during the COVID-19 pandemic providing an essential supply of food and utilities to the community and establishing a delivery service for residents who were sick or self-isolating.

The shop became a lifeline for many particularly the elderly, vulnerable and those with underlying health conditions. Villagers were able to phone requests for provisions and have them delivered to their door the following morning, along with the uplift or delivery of letters and parcels.

The shop was kept open 7 days a week, and the shop's Facebook page became a vital means of communication, signposting help available to residents.

Lynsey is a supporter of local charities for many years through her fundraising activities and makes items for local good causes such as gift hampers, soft toys and home-made cards.

Josephine Robson

For services to Foster Care in Broughton, Tweeddale.