Newham’s great and good rewarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

A university researcher, a charity worker and key players in the development of the Olympic Park in Stratford are among those named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Andy Minnion, director of the Rix Centre at the University of East London (UEL) has been appointed an MBE for services to the education of people with special needs.

He set up the centre in 2004 in an effort to transform the lives of those with disabilities, by developing multimedia technology.

Mr Minnion is joined by UEL colleague Femi Bola. who is director of employability and student enterprise, who is made an MBE for services to diversity.

Judith Garfield, director of the Newham-founded Eastside Community Heritage, is also an MBE for her services to community heritage.

The charity was established in 1993 to run projects documenting the lives of ‘ordinary’ East Londoners.

She said: “We’ve been telling working class stories for 20 years and what this (award) does is it validates the work that we do to ensure that people’s lives are acknowledged.”

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Manjit Rai. headteacher at North Beckton Primary School, has received an OBE for services to education.

And with little over a month to go until the start of the Olympic Games, the designer of the Olympic Park’s iconic Aquatics Centre has been made a Dame.

Baghdad-born Zaha Hadid has won the Stirling Prize - the country’s top prize for architecture - for the past two years, and is already a CBE, but said she would still be nervous when going to the Palace to accept her latest honour.

She said: “I’ve met the Queen on several occasions, in Istanbul and here in London, but of course this is quite a different matter and I’m sure one will be nervous.”

A clutch of Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) workers have also been recognised for their involvement with OBEs.

They were Lorraine Ingrid Baldry, chairman of the ODA Planning Committee, and Jerome Frost. the body’s head of design and regeneration for services to regeneration.

Head of health and safety Lawrence Waterman, and former head of equality, inclusion, employment and skill, Loraine Martins, also received OBEs.