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AwardsHost of New Year honours for the North West

Host of New Year honours for the North West

Many good citizens from across the North West can look forward to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2024 after making the New Year’s Honours List.

Mum-of-three Helen Walton (pictured), a council officer who led Rochdale’s Christmas toy appeal for the past 10 years has been recognised by King Charles III.

She has been awarded a British Empire Medal for providing Christmas presents to thousands of local families and children in need. Her energy has ensured the appeal has grown from just delivering 75 toys in its first year to distributing to 2,000 in 2023.

As well as running the appeal through the council’s Number One Riverside Giving Back staff charity, Helen is also a member of Rochdale Parent Carer Voice 25+ group, which advocates on behalf of parents of disabled adult children, and GM Equal, a regional equality body.


Liz Gorb Manchester Metropolitan University’s director of apprenticeships has been awarded an MBE. Liz Gorb (pictured left) has been the driving force behind the development and delivery of degree apprenticeships at the University since they were first introduced 2015.  

Under her inspirational leadership, Manchester Met now works with more than 600 employers and over 2,500 apprentices through its programmes across the UK. Manchester Met is one of the pioneers of the “learn as you earn” initiative, and the first to secure Ofsted Outstanding recognition for the quality of its provision.


b3ee2c4b5a074cceabf7927e514eb839 Chief executive of Manchester City Council, Joanne Roney has been made a CBE for services to local government.

She is among a list of people who the King has honoured for the part they have played in making a difference in their communities. The honour follows a lifetime’s public service in both local council and in national advisory roles.

Joanne was awarded an OBE in 2009, and since then has continued to work in leadership at a city, Greater Manchester and a national level.



Also honoured in the North West was Katie Gallagher, managing director of Manchester Digital, founder of the NW Cyber Resilience Centre and chair of UK Tech Cluster Group, who said she was incredibly surprised to receive an OBE.

Eamonn Boylan received an OBE for 42 years of dedication to public service, with local government roles including in Stockport, Manchester and Sheffield. He also realised the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s vision for the Bee Network – an integrated London-style public transport system.

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