New Year Honours: Two centenarians lead roll call of national heroes

Two centenarians lead roll call of national heroes in New Year Honours – with one becoming the oldest person on record to be recognised

  • Anne Baker, 106, received her honour after 60 years of charity fundraising
  • Mrs Baker, of Salisbury, Wiltshire, has volunteered for National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
  • Ruth Saunders, 104, of Newbury, Berkshire, was recognised after she walked marathon to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance
  • They both received MBEs in New Year Honours list that celebrated work of some 800 community champions and volunteers 

Two centenarians led a roll call of national heroes in the New Year Honours.

Anne Baker, 106, became the oldest person on record to receive an honour, after she dedicated 60 years to charity fundraising.

Ruth Saunders, 104, was recognised after she walked a marathon to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. 

They both received MBEs in a New Year Honours list that celebrated the work of some 800 community champions and volunteers.

Anne Baker (right, with Esther Rantzen), 106, became the oldest person on record to receive an honour, after she dedicated 60 years to charity fundraising

Mrs Baker, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, has volunteered for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). She said it was a ‘great surprise and a great honour’ to receive an MBE

More than 230 people were recognised for their efforts in combating the effects of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns and isolation.

Mrs Baker, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, has volunteered for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) for more than 60 years.

She said it was a ‘great surprise and a great honour’ to receive an MBE. 

While Mrs Saunders, of Newbury, Berkshire, took almost two months to complete her walking marathon after she was inspired by the efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised £32million for the NHS in the run-up to his 100th birthday.

Ruth Saunders (above), 104, was recognised after she walked a marathon to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Mrs Saunders, of Newbury, Berkshire, took almost two months to complete her walking marathon after she was inspired by the efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised £32million for the NHS in the run-up to his 100th birthday

Mrs Saunders, a former Red Cross nurse and great-grandmother, walked 130 laps of her garden to cover the 26.2 miles and said it had helped to ease her arthritis. She raised almost £39,000

The former Red Cross nurse and great-grandmother walked 130 laps of her garden to cover the 26.2 miles and said it had helped to ease her arthritis. She raised almost £39,000.

The list honoured many frontline NHS workers for their tireless work during the pandemic, such as Carol Doggett, 51, head of nursing at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, South Wales.

Mrs Doggett, a nurse since 1987, transformed the hospital’s critical care capacity from 28 beds to 117 in just three weeks at the start of the pandemic.

She and her team treated hundreds of patients including 13 of their own colleagues at the hospital trust. She said she was ‘overwhelmed’ to learn she would receive an MBE, and dedicated the honour to her team and their patients.

Another nurse, Catherine Fitzsimmons, 62, had retired from NHS nursing after 41 years but returned to Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester in April.

The list honoured many frontline NHS workers for their tireless work during the pandemic, such as Carol Doggett (above), 51, head of nursing at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, South Wales. Mrs Doggett, a nurse since 1987, transformed the hospital’s critical care capacity from 28 beds to 117 in just three weeks at the start of the pandemic

Another nurse, Catherine Fitzsimmons (above), 62, had retired from NHS nursing after 41 years but returned to Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester in April. She helped her team to set up online calls for families who could not go into hospitals to visit critically ill relatives, and said she felt ‘extremely honoured and very, very emotional’ to receive a British Empire Medal

She helped her team to set up online calls for families who could not go into hospitals to visit critically ill relatives, and said she felt ‘extremely honoured and very, very emotional’ to receive a British Empire Medal.

St John Ambulance paramedic Richard Royce Lee, 49, will receive an MBE after he worked seven-day weeks for the first two months of the pandemic in Caerphilly, Gwent.

EasyJet Captain Emma Henderson, 47, from Kinloss, in Moray, Scotland, will also get an MBE after she co-founded Project Wingman, which set up care lounges inside 80 hospitals to help NHS staff.

Other recipients included Kate Dawson, 54, who was given an OBE for helping to make scrubs for the NHS in Ashington, Northumberland.

Entrepreneur Manoj Varsani was made an MBE for setting up the voluntary organisation SOS Supplies to help plug gaps in supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care staff.

EasyJet Captain Emma Henderson (pictured), 47, from Kinloss, in Moray, Scotland, will also get an MBE after she co-founded Project Wingman, which set up care lounges inside 80 hospitals to help NHS staff

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