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Fylde individuals to receive prestigious Queens honours

99 year-old Ethel Dobbins, of Northumberland Avenue in Cleveleys, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her commitment to community services.
Ethel with her thoughts which she wrote down after hearing she had won the medal.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
13-6-2014

99 year-old Ethel Dobbins, of Northumberland Avenue in Cleveleys, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her commitment to community services. Ethel with her thoughts which she wrote down after hearing she had won the medal. PIC BY ROB LOCK 13-6-2014

The Fylde coast is boasting yet more outstanding individuals singled out for praise from the Queen in the prestigious birthday honours list.

With awards which recognise the commitment of teachers, doctors, magistrates and community champions it’s fair to say all are worthy recipients - but there can be none quite as deserving as Ethel Dobbins.

She is one of six outstanding individuals from the Fylde coast singled out for praise from the Queen in the prestigious list.

And at the grand age of 99 she shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

‘Dobbie’, as she is affectionately known to her friends, is to be awarded to her for services to the community, having given her life to helping others.

The list of her achievements includes working as a nurse, midwife, health visitor and social worker as well as volunteering her time and expertise to a number of organisations looking after the elderly or disabled.

She said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to receive an honour from the Queen.

“I am amazed and proud and humble. I would like to thank the volunteers, without whose help I would not have achieved anything.”

The Cleveleys resident is an active member of Wyre Senior Voice Forum, Wyre Together and Wyre Disability as well as secretary of Hard Of Hearing and treasurer of Blackpool Stroke Club.

She added: “I live my life by the mantra, if you love your fellow men you’ll do what you can for them.”

Eddy Jackson, who was head of Blackpool’s Highfurlong Special School for 23 years, seeing it achieve a raft of ‘outstanding’ ratings from Ofsted inspectors, is to be given an MBE.

Mr Jackson, 63, who retired from the Blackpool Old Road school last summer, said he accepts the award on behalf of everyone involved in Blackpool’s special needs community.

He added: “News of the honour brought a tear to my eye because of the huge efforts and tremendous work involved in gaining the award.”

Mr Jackson was famed for donning his wetsuit and taking on charity windsurfing events to raise money for vital high-tech communication aids for young people with complex and severe disabilities.

Also praised for services to education is Roberta Austin, centre manager for Blackpool and The Fylde College’s successful Build Up programme.

Ms Austin has overseen 3,500 unemployed people develop work skills and go on to land sustained employment across the Fylde coast.

She said: “I am humbled that the work that I am so fervently passionate about and committed to has been recognised.”

Blackpool GP, Dr Amanda Doyle, said she was “surprised and delighted” to be honoured with an OBE after dedicating the last decade to improving health in the town.

The award recognises her contribution to primary care in the resort where she has worked for 18 years.

She said: “For me personally it is obviously a great honour. But I think the award is also recognition of the achievements of so many others who I have been privileged to work alongside in the challenge to improve health – not only in Blackpool but the country as a whole.

“To be honoured in this way comes as a wonderful surprise – it is not something you ever expect.”

Dr Doyle is now a partner at Bloomfield Medical Practice on Bloomfield Road, and is the chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group.

Also listed for honours are Julie Farrell JP, for services to the administration of justice in Blackpool and Dr Andrew Treharne, from Lytham, for services to youth engagement in biology.

 

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