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Blog Jon Rouse


Honour your sector

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New Year Honours list 2015 – nominations close 31 March 2014

Off duty doctors attending road accident victims, Samaritans lending compassion and understanding to callers at 3 in the morning, Principal Social Workers mentoring dozens of young social workers, fundraisers building small groups of volunteers into officially recognised charities…

There is so much that is truly remarkable, inspirational and life transforming about the work of professionals and volunteers within the care and support sector, you have to wonder why we don’t hear these good news stories more often.

I do feel some degree of frustration when failings in the system – right though it is to expose and condemn them – so often eclipse the amazing work of the many thousands of people working hard to improve life for our more vulnerable citizens.

The New Year Honours list is a high profile way to correct this imbalance in perception and acknowledge the achievements of ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

Recent recipients from the care sector include Terry Riley (OBE) broadcaster and campaigner for deaf people and Anne Cann (MBE), Chair of Age Concern Kingston who has dedicated more than 40 years’ service to the needs of the elderly in her community.

I’d like to echo recent comments made by our Permanent Secretary Una O’Brien, about how important it is we recognise the great and the good from all walks of life, of all ages, and in all parts of the care and support system – not least the voluntary sector where good deeds are performed in good faith, above and beyond the obligations and stresses of the day job.

And on the subject of broadening the field, women and people from black and ethnic communities continue to be under-represented in lists of this nature. This cannot be a true reflection of the great work being done within our varied communities.

We’d also really like to acknowledge more young people’s contributions and the British Empire Medal is a perfect way of doing so.

The deadline for next year’s New Year Honours - 31 March 2014 - is fast approaching, so I urge you to ask yourself: who in your community or place of work deserves their hard work and humility to be recognised? My colleagues in the DH honours team will be very happy to offer help and advice. Call them on 020 7210 5935/6/7 or email:

Meanwhile, read the guidance, download the nomination form and become part of a process which can recognise the contribution of a person already transforming the lives of others.

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  1. Comment by Gareth Engram posted on

    The New Year's Honours List has lost its way in recent times with some poor choices. I love the honours list and hope my faith will be restored.