HONOURS LIST: Cancer campaigner honoured by Queen

Linda Whitworth being presented with the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Certificate of Merit in 2013
Linda Whitworth being presented with the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Certificate of Merit in 2013
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A community stalwart has been honoured for 40 years' of voluntary work for a cancer charity.

Linda Whitworth, chair of Bloodwise in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, has been given a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours list.

Helen Broughton and Damian Broughton from Danbro in Lytham

Helen Broughton and Damian Broughton from Danbro in Lytham

The 67-year-old is one of several Fylde residents today recognised for their commitment to education, business, the community, and to young people.

Mrs Whitworth, who lives in Devonshire Road, North Shore, with her husband Jim, said she burst into tears after getting a letter to say she is being honoured.

The former Westcliff Primary School teacher said: "I kept looking down at my name to make sure they got the right person. It was a total shock."

Mrs Whitworth, a grandmother of two, began volunteering with the charity 40 years ago, and is also a reader at All Hallows Church in Bispham, a pastoral assistant at a mother and toddler group, and is involved with Thornton acting group Windmill Players.

Blackpool and the Fylde College deputy principal Catherine Hill speaking at The Gazette's education awards in November

Blackpool and the Fylde College deputy principal Catherine Hill speaking at The Gazette's education awards in November

She added: "I have enjoyed doing it so much and I have worked with a wonderful set of people."

Mrs Whitworth can still remember a pivotal moment in her life, which happened in 1975 while she was stood outside what is now a British Heart Foundation shop in Crescent West, Cleveleys collecting for the charity, which was then called Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

She said: "A lady put £5 in, which is a lot of money to give now but was even more back then. She looked at me and said, 'it would have been my little girl's birthday today but she died five years ago from leukaemia.'

"I put my head up, shoulders back, and collected all morning. That feeling I had then has never left me and over the years I have seen a remarkable advance in treatment and research.

Peter Mileham was High Sheriff of Lancashire from 2011-12

Peter Mileham was High Sheriff of Lancashire from 2011-12

"Nine in 10 children with the common form now survive. They didn't back then."

Other Lancastrians honoured include Blackpool and the Fylde College's deputy principal Catherine Hill, who has been given an OBE for services to further education.

She said: "I am humbled that the work that I am so fervently passionate and committed to has been recognised. This will add a sparkle to my family’s New Year’s festivities."

Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire Peter Mileham, who is an ambassador for the cancer charity Rosemere Foundation and a Citizens in Policing ambassador for Lancashire Constabulary, has been given an OBE for his services to the community.

And Lytham firm Danbro's co-founders Damian and Helen Broughton were awarded MBEs for services to small businesses and sole traders and to the community.

Frances Mary Winterflood was given a BEM for her voluntary service to young people in Lancashire through the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, while deputy chief constable Andrew Rhodes from Lancashire Constabulary was given the Queen's Police Medal.

Chief Constable Steve Finnigan, who was himself awarded the QPM in 2006 and who also holds a CBE from 2010, said: "I am delighted that Andy Rhodes has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2016.

"Andy has more than 24 years’ policing experience and he has been a dedicated and committed officer throughout his service. I know that he doesn’t actually view his role as a ‘job’, but more as a vocation. I am extremely proud to have Andy Rhodes as part of my Chief Officer Team and I congratulate him on this much deserved award."

DCC Rhodes led the 2013 policing operation for the trial of Dale Cregan at Preston Crown Court, as well as the policing response to the floods in the county.

Nationally, some of the biggest names honoured include Falklands veteran turned charity campaigner Simon Weston, champion jockey AP McCoy, Man Utd football legend Denis Law, boxer Carl Frampton, actress Barbara Windsor, Luther star Idris Elba, and Ann Summers tycoon Jacqueline Gold.