Famous five earn honours for service to community in Newham

Five people who have served the community in Newham over many years are waking up this morning with honours to their name.

The names are revealed in the Queen’s Birthday honour’s list published at midnight.

A knighthood goes to David Hartmann Higgins, the former Chief Executive of the Olympics Delivery Authority, for services to regeneration, particularly what is being achieved in Stratford because of the London 2012 games.

A CBE goes to Jack Petchey, who was already an OBE. The honour is bestowed on the millionaire for his work as the founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation for Young People and for his services for charity, particularly in Newham and East London.

There’s also a CBE for Mrs Ramesh Kumari Verma,chief executive of the EKTA charity for services to older people in East London.

An MBE goes to Cllr Bryan Collier for services to the community in Newham over many years.

For nearly 40 years he has served the community in the Newham in a variety of voluntary positions. He began his youth work in and around the Newham area, where he was known as the vicar because he wore a suit and tie. Between 1973 and 1977 he was a youth worker at the Greengate Youth Club in Plaistow. In the mid-1980s he, and his wife Marie, set about restoring a disused store area at the base of a tower block which became known as the Room at the Bottom Youth Club, taking young people off the streets. In 1983 he became a governor of five local schools; he is still a governor of three and is chairman of one. For a number of years he has been President of Newham 11th Scouts and Vice-President and Chairman of Newham Scouts’ Association and he has been Chairman and trustee of IMPS Motor Cycle Display Team. In recent years he has been working with the Canning Town Youth project on a youth and elders’ venture which seeks to help the Wombles Recycling Charity. Since 2001 he has been Vice-Chairman of the Lord Mayor’s Association.

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He also helped create with the backing of the Newham Recorder, the annual Civic Awards, which for many years, have recognised the unsung heroes in oour community.

Now he has been rewarded himself.

An MBE also has been awarded to Mrs Joyce Amato, European co-ordinator of Newham College of Further Education, for services to education. Full report on our local heroes in the Newham Recorder on Wednesday.