Tony Hudgell's adoptive mum Paula Hudgell among those named in New Year Honours List 2023

Paula Hudgell and her husband Mark have fought tirelessly for tougher penalties for child cruelty. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images

The adoptive mother of Tony Hudgell, who had to have both legs amputated as a baby following abuse by his birth parents, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List 2023.

Paula Hudgell and her husband Mark, from Kings Hill, have fought tirelessly for tougher penalties for child cruelty.

Tony's biological parents, Jody Simpson and Tony Smith were convicted of assaulting, ill treating and neglecting Tony, and sentenced to the then maximum jail term of 10 years in 2018.

Paula Hudgell said: "The email came through about three weeks ago and at first I thought it was a fake email until I checked it out on the Government website before I opened the letter that was attached to it.

"It's not just me, it's everyone around me that helps as well, family, friends and all the support."

Denis Brophy was "overwhelmed" at receiving the recognition. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Denis Brophy, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Walmer, Kent, has also been recognised with an MBE for services to maritime safety.

Denis said: "I was very very surprised, overwhelmed, but really honoured to receive it.

"I feel I am receiving it on behalf of the station, as I couldn't have done the job without everyone being here, past and present, so I regard it for everyone."

Nadra Ahmed already has an OBE. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Nadra Ahmed, Executive Chair, National Care Association, has been awarded a CBE, which is the next level up from an OBE.

Nadra said: "It's quite overwhelming really, you don't expect to top the OBE really."

Although overwhelmed by getting a CBE, she would like to see greater recognition for the care sector.

She added: "I think we have to be recognised as an entity in our own right and the contributions that we make as a sector looking after more people on a day to day basis than any other."

Ann Millington has campaigned for a more diverse fire service. Credit: Good Morning Britain

The Chief Executive of Kent Fire and Rescue Service is another recipient of an OBE.

Ann Millington has campaigned for a more diverse service and would like to see more women coming up through the ranks.

Ann, speaking on Good Morning Britain in August 2018, said: "We've got something like 70 female firefighters in Kent.

"They're from every range of size and shape, but what they are is amazingly skilled in the job in the same way a man is."

  • ITV News Meridian's Glen Thompsett reports on those who have received awards