New Year’s Honours awards for Newham quartet

A Newham woman who has spent decades helping the unemployed was rewarded with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List released today

Sarah McKiernan, from Stratford, has spent 37 years working on the front line at JobCentre Plus.

Now semi-retired, she is currently the finance director’s office manager, but has occupied several roles in the department.

She described her surprise and delight after receiving the letter from the Cabinet Office.

Sarah said: “A lot of my job would have been dealing with the general public in terms of their benefit claims.

She added: “There are an awful lot of very distressed customers who need you to sort their issues out for them. Some of them have really difficult lives.

Sarah, who is also a church volunteer, is looking forward to collecting her honour at Buckingham Palace.

Most Read

“I have actually been there for a garden party,” she added.“It is absolutely delightful and they really do serve cucumber sandwiches.

Diana Green, from East Ham, has received an MBE for her work as an environment advisor for sustainability and diversity at HM Revenues and Customs.

She told the Recorder: “It is really nice but I am absolutely stunned. It is really nice to know that somebody, somewhere appreciates what you do, especially as I really enjoy it.”

Diana, 45, who is chair of Governors at Nelson Primary School in East Ham, thinks the honour is for her work in leading a small team to ensure that her department met the environmental targets set by the government in reducing waste.

Former Forest Gate resident Tim Campbell, who won the first series of the BBC show The Apprentice in 2005, was also made an MBE for services to enterprise culture.

After winning he founded and now runs the Bright Ideas Trust, which aims to give young entrepreneurs a start in the world of business.

Two men leading the Olympics have also been honoured.

John Armitt, CBE, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), receives a Knighthood for services to engineering and construction.

The 65-year-old, was appointed chairman of the ODA in September 2007.

In 1997 he was awarded the CBE for services to the rail industry.

And Charles Lamb Allen, CBE, has also been made a “Sir” for services to to both the Olympics and Paralympics in London 2012.