The people from our region commended in the Queen's Birthday Honours

Watch Kris Jepson's report about Sir Brendan Foster's knighthood.

From stalwarts of the community to the founder of the Great North Run, the Queen's Birthday Honours List acknowledges people across the North East.

The publication of the list, usually done in June, was delayed this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Brendan Foster

Brendan Foster set up the Great North Run in 1980 Credit: ITV News

The mastermind of the Great North Run, Brendan Foster has been given a knighthood for services to international and national sport and culture in North East England.

Mr Foster set up the event - a fixture on the region's sporting calendar - in 1980 after retiring from a distinguished athletics career.

The 2020 race was due to be the 40th running of the event, with a record 60,000 entries, but had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Foster, who described the knighthood as a great privilege, said staging the race next year was his big dream for next year.

He said: "We would love to celebrate the 40th Great North Run in 2021, that would be the biggest and most exciting ever because of the circumstances.

"If it did happen it would be the first big mass event, it would be Britain returning from this crisis. It would be a signal of that and we would love to be in that position.

"What I would like to do is stand on that finish line, with everything back to normal and as it's been in the past, and say 'well, that's 40', come down off the rostrum, have a couple of drinks and then start working on the 50th."

Geoffrey Cowan

Geoffrey Cowan was commended for his decades of volunteering with the RNLI Credit: RNLI

Geoffrey Cowan, a volunteer community safety officer with the RNLI in the North East, has been formally recognised with a British Empire Medal (BME) for over 45 years of service.

Mr Cowan started the locker initiative that helped to encourage commercial fishermen to wear lifejackets when climbing between boats from the dockside, following the tragic deaths of two local fishermen.

The lockers now enable local fishermen to store their lifejackets on the dock, so they are readily available.

Upon hearing the news of his award, Geoff said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. 

"The RNLI has undergone massive changes since I joined in 1973, and I remain proud of the lifesaving work the charity continues to do. 

"I am excited to carry on the work I’ve undertaken over the last 47 years, helping the local community to have a better understanding of water safety so that we can continue to save lives at sea."

Jill Shaw

Jill Shaw, a headteacher at New York Primary School in Whitley Bay, has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to education.

Ms Shaw was commended for her dedicated work in supporting her pupils and local community at the height of the pandemic.

The school is in one of the most disadvantaged areas in North Tyneside, with 38.6% of pupils in receipt of free school meals; the national average is 23%.

Ms Shaw delivered packed lunches to both isolating and vulnerable families. She also delivered support packages to elderly residents and kept in regular contact with the local police force to help them support vulnerable people.

Mike Hind

Mike Hind (left) pictured with his friend Darren 'Dibsy' McClintock; both men hit national headlines as Mike tried to help Dibsy lose weight Credit: Mike Hind

Mike Hind was awarded an MBE for services to the community of Teesside during covid-19.

Mr Hind was recognised for using his own money and organising fundraising, to provide care packages to hospital staff and vulnerable members of the community in Teesside since the beginning of the lockdown.

He was told about the birthday of an elderly resident in a care home. He not only bought a present for that lady but gave a present to every other resident of the home and to all of the staff.

Mr Hind has also posted openly about the mental health challenges he has faced throughout the pandemic.

ITV News Tyne Tees has spoken to Mr Hind numerous times in recent years as we've followed the weight loss journey of Darren 'Dibsy' McClintock, supported by Mr Hind working in his capacity as a personal trainer.

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies, from Scarborough, has been commended for his role with the Sea Cadets Credit: Sea Cadets

Gareth Davies, from Scarborough, has been awarded an MBE for his efforts working with the Sea Cadets, a youth charity that seeks to support people and develop essential life skills.

Seven people from the Sea Cadets were commended, something that its Captain.

Captain Phil Russell RN said: "On behalf of the entire Marine Society and Sea Cadets Charity I send hearty congratulations to all seven recipients.

"Recognising that many more of our 9,000 volunteers and 15,000 cadets are equally dedicated to supporting their communities,  they are great exemplars of the unique Sea Cadets values and ethos which have helped make a difference to so many young lives.”

Lynne Grieves

Ms Grieves was formally recognised for her services to nursing during covid-19.

Throughout the pandemic, Lynne would look after the care and welfare of theresidents of Northlea throughout the nights, assessing, planning and implementing care along with the other care staff.

To protect her mother’s health, Ms Grieves decided to move into Northlea so shecould continue working. She worked seven nights per week and continued this for several weeks.

Jolene Miller

From March to the end of June, Mrs Miller was driving Northern trains for one week transporting key workers to their workplace, including driving the route to James Cook Hospital station.

The second week in her routine saw her returning to her previous role of Paramedic with the NHS.

On the weeks she was with the NHS she was working at her local Accident and Emergency department on the COVID-19 side as a hospital liaison officer.

She triaged patients as they arrived by ambulance enabling them to get the most appropriate care and looked after the patients until rooms became available.

This allowed the full-time paramedic crews to get back out on the road to respond to the next emergency.

Joanne Swan

Joanne is the manager of Fountain Court care home in Gateshead.

When many of her staff and residents tested positive for the virus in April, she slept on an airbed on her office floor for two weeks.

Joanne spent her birthday in lockdown and took on many roles as a care worker, cook, hairdresser and much more to lift spirits and keep her residents, staff and the community safe - but says she would "do it all again in a heartbeat".

She said: “At times it was scary but I kept the moral up by having barbeques and taking the food around to the residents. I also celebrated my birthday during my stay which was fun to say the least waking up to balloons and banners all around the communal lounge."

The full list of people from our region commended in this year's Honours list is below:


Mrs Jayne Adamson, Hartlepool - For services to housing and suicide prevention

Mr Stuart Fearn, North Shields - For services to the community in Newcastle and the North East during Covid-19

Mrs Jill Shaw, Whitley Bay - For services to Education


Ms Lynne Grieves, Cramlington - For services to Nursing during Covid-19

Mrs Lucy Mansell-Render, Washington - For services to the Covid-19 response

Mrs Jolene Miller, Stockton - For services to the NHS during Covid-19

Mr Geoff Moyle, Whitley Bay - For services to catering in the NHS during Covid-19

Mrs Catherine Ruddick, Stanley - For services to the care sector during Covid-19

Mr Stephen Walters, Newcastle upon Tyne - For services to Public Libraries

Mr Theo Wride, Sunderland - For services to the community and key workers in Sunderland during Covid-19

Recipients honoured for other achievements:


Mr Anthony Austin Cleary, Durham - For services to International Trade and Exports

Ms Joanne Jane Curry, North Shields - For charitable service in North East England


Mr Geoffrey Cowan, Whitley Bay - For voluntary services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Mr Peter Crawford, Stockton-on-Tees - For voluntary service to Gymnastics in the North of England

Mrs Sandra Mason, South Hetton - For services to the community in South Hetton, County Durham

Ms Julie Scurfield, Chester-le-Street - For voluntary service to Girls’ Football in Chester-le-Street, County Durham