Olympic tour guide and marching band composer among Elmbridge's honours

An Olympic tour guide, a marching band composer and two charity campaigners are among those recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Community figures from across Elmbridge received accolades from Buckingham Palace for their commitment and achievements across a range of areas.

Tour guide Joanna Hoad was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to tourism and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The East Molesey resident was chairman of the Blue Badge 2012 committee, which ran training courses for guides during the 2012 Games.

She said: “It was very important that as a community we all believed in the Olympics and Paralympics being a success from the date that we won the bid.”

Mrs Hoad qualified as a tour guide in 1996 and said her passion for sport, meeting people and travel made the job ideal for her.

She said: “I feel very humbled actually and very touched that whoever it was nominated me although I don’t know who it is.

“I would like to pay tribute to the people I worked with because it’s never the job of just one.”

Jennifer Evans, aid charity Tearfund's former head of region for Eurasia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, was awarded an OBE for services to international humanitarian aid.

The Weybridge resident has worked for the organisation for 39 years, and helped with disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and flooding in Pakistan.

She said: “There’s a sense of disbelief to be honest and I guess until I see it in the paper I won’t really believe it.

“It was a bit of a shock and a bit embarrassing really.”

Tearfund international director David Bainbridge said: "She has touched the lives of countless people in many countries, and has always been known for her deep compassion and tireless efforts on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“We wholeheartedly congratulate her, and we’re delighted that she is receiving this well-deserved recognition."

Hilary Whittaker, former chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer in Surrey, was awarded an MBE for raising awareness of the illness.

The Thames Ditton resident worked with the charity for almost a decade and campaigned to improve  the lives of patients and to provide support to those affected by the disease.

Mrs Whittaker launched the charity’s international branch in 2009 and as a result of years of campaigning saw the introduction of bowel cancer screening for 60-69 year olds.

David Cherry from Hinchley Wood was awarded an MBE for services to children and young people for his work as composer and arranger for boys' brigade marching bands.

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