THE WOMAN who has spearheaded the success of voluntary organisations across Southampton for decades has been honoured for her dedicated service in the New Year's honours list.

Southampton Voluntary Services chief executive and secretary Jo Ash said she was in complete shock when she received the letter from the Cabinet Office which told her she was to become a CBE.

"It was just utter disbelief. I had to read the letter twice," said Jo who has headed Southampton Voluntary Services organisation which is the umbrella body for charitable groups in the city, since 1992.

Jo, pictured below, said the award for her services to the charity sector, showed the importance of charity and volunteering sectors, which she described as often under valued.

Jo, 60, said: "This isn't just for me but it is in recognition of all the volunteers and the team I have around me at SVS. It is important that the charitable sector does get recognised in this way as it can often be under valued and under recognised.

"I am of course extremely thrilled and excited about the honour," she added.

Along with her role at the SVS, she also held the role of vice chairman of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations for six years and was a trustee for over a decade.

Based at Kingsland Square SVS provides a wide range of services including specialist support, advice and training members. Along with overseeing volunteering organisations in the city, SVS run their own projects including Shopmobility, Young Carers, Southampton Healthwatch and a drug support scheme called Morph.

The organisation also co-ordinates the annual toy appeal in the city which ensures deprived and vulnerable youngsters get at least one gift at Christmas.

Daily Echo:

  • NICK Jennings, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, has been made Companion of the Order of the Bath for his services to computer science and national security science.

Professor Jennings, who is head of electronics and computer science at the university, has been recognised for his pioneering contributions to the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and agent-based computing.

He is the UK’s only Regius Professor in Computer Science, a prestigious title awarded to the university by the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

He has just finished a six-year term of office as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government in the area of national security.

Professor Jennings, who lives in Bishop's Waltham, said: “I am delighted to receive such an award and feel it is recognition for the excellent teams I have worked with, both in the university and in government. It’s been a real privilege to see fledgling ideas pulled through into real-world applications in both roles.”

An internationally-recognised authority in the areas of agent-based computing and intelligent systems, Professor Jennings' research covers both the science and the engineering of these systems.

Professor Jennings, pictured below, is also a successful entrepreneur and is chief scientific officer for Aerogility, a 20 person start-up that develops advanced software solutions for the aerospace and defence sectors.

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, University of Southampton vice-chancellor, said: “I am delighted that the unique contribution Nick has made through his research is being recognised with this prestigious honour.

“He richly deserves it for his personal achievements but it is also an honour for the University of Southampton.”

Daily Echo:

  • A SENIOR psychiatric nurse who has dedicated his life to a proud family tradition of caring for some of Hampshire's most vulnerable patients has been honoured.

David Prout has spent 45 years working for mental health teams and is the the third generation of relatives serving psychiatric patients in combined careers stretching back 100 years.

He has been made an MBE for his services to community mental health nursing.

The 67-year-old Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust employee qualified as a general nurse from Southampton General Hospital in 1948 before moving to Knowle Hospital as a psychiatric nurse.

He was following in the footsteps of father Albert and grandfather William Berry who were both nurses at the previously named Southampton Asylum.

David also worked at Southampton Department of Psychiatry, but the lion's share of his career has been as a community health nurse - dedicating the past 12 years in the perinatal team helping mothers with postnatal depression.

The father-of-four and grandfather-of-two, who lives in Bitterne Park with wife Anne, said he was overwhelmed by the honour and added: "I had to read the letter four times to confirm I had read it right. I am delighted and although my father is not with us anymore he would be proud."

  • A LONG-serving Hampshire council boss has been made a CBE.

Andrew Smith, outgoing chief executive of Hampshire County Council, has picked up his second honour for services to local government.

He retired earlier this year after more than 25 years at the council and eight years as the boss.

The council hailed Mr Smith's "visionary approach" and "outstanding contribution to public services over the last 40 years".

Cllr Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “I am delighted for Andrew – he has dedicated his entire working life to improving public services and this award is the least he deserves. His 'citizen first' approach has benefitted everyone who lives and works in Hampshire and his long-term vision for the public sector will benefit the generations to come.”

Mr Smith, who was one of the highest paid council officers in the country with an annual salary of more than £200,000, was awarded an OBE in 2006.

Daily Echo:

  • ANGELA Forder-Stent receives a British Empire Medal for services to the community of Twyford, near Winchester.

During the 2014 flooding crisis she volunteered as a flood co-ordinator and also campaigned to save The Bugle Inn in 2005.

Angela, pictured below, has been a parish councillor for more than 30 years, is a captain of bell ringers at St Mary’s Church in Twyford and has also been involved in the patient participation group at Twyford Surgery for 20 years.

The 68-year-old, who lives in Twyford, was shocked when she found out she was among those honoured.

She said: “I do not understand why I have got it. It was a massive surprise to me. I have been a parish councillor for 30 odd years but there are plenty of other people on the parish council that have done an awful lot, but it is nice to be recognised.”

Daily Echo:

  • CHIEF Coastguard Keith Oliver has been awarded an OBE.

Keith, pictured below, was appointed Chief Coastguard in May 2015, in recognition of his exceptional, skill and expertise after nearly 20 years of service to Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

Keith Oliver, who is based in Southampton, said: "When people are given honours, they often say it’s down to other people. In my case, it certainly is. So, while I’m delighted to be receiving this OBE, I’m also acutely aware that it’s through the efforts of others."

Daily Echo:

  • THE man who led the ongoing battle to preserve the Hampshire countryside has been awarded an OBE.

Christopher Napier, 71, is a former chairman of the Hampshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The award has been made for his work for the environment and rural community in southern England.

CPRE Hampshire’s current chairman, Dee Haas, said: “I have observed Christopher's dedication to the preservation of the Hampshire countryside and he continues to fight to keep our countryside unspoilt and tranquil. This recognition is truly deserved.”

Mr Napier, pictured below, said: "I am delighted to receive this award and am grateful for the willing support of our dedicated CPRE staff and volunteers. It has been a pleasure to meet so many people around the county who have the wellbeing of our countryside at heart.”

Daily Echo:

  • A HAMPSHIRE doctor who established an international centre of excellence in diabetes research has been made a CBE.

Professor Melanie Davies has been responsible for major advances in diabetes and receives the award for services to diabetes research.

She was appointed in 1996 as a full-time NHS Consultant at Leicester Royal Infirmary and recruited her first research nurse in 1998. With increasing success the team grew and Professor Davies took up an appointment with the University of Leicester as Professor of Diabetes Medicine in 2007.

Born and raised in Hampshire, Professor Davies went to Locks Heath Primary School, and Henry Beaufort Secondary School in Winchester, and her parents live in Twyford.

She now lives in Leicester with her husband and three children.

Professor Davies gave up a promising career in the equestrian world as a show jumper in order to study medicine and became the first member of her family to get a degree.

Professor Davies, pictured below, said: “This award means a lot because it is recognition for a significant amount of hard work and determination in turning a vision into reality and I would like to acknowledge the great team with which I am fortunate to work".

Daily Echo:

  • A VOLUNTEER who has overseen the training and development of hundreds of others like her at a Hampshire landmark receives the British Empire Medal.

Lynn Willmott. pictured below, has worked at Mottisfont Abbey for the past eight years helping the 500-plus volunteers at the centre. She is honoured for her services to heritage in Hampshire.

The mother of two said she was “overwhelmed” after she was nominated by the general manager of the historical site, Paul Cook for her work.

The former Noadswood School student, who has lived in Romsey for 25 years, said: “I’ve been helping the Mottisfont Trust to really make volunteering at Mottisfont one of the best places where you can volunteer that’s been my job.”

“My job is to make sure that they’re in the role that suits their talents and that they get out what they want from volunteering,” the 69-year old added.

“I can’t do what I do without the support of other people. It’s never one single person who does this, it’s a team effort.”

Daily Echo:

  • STELLA Barbara Dean from New Milton has been made an MBE for services to the fishing community in Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight.

She is co-founder of the Southern Fish Industry Training Association Limited, which was set up in 1981 to provide safety training for the seagoing sector of the industry.

The association now covers the whole of the south coast, from Lyme Regis to the Medway and also provides training for the National Federation of Fish Friers, The National Federation of Fishmongers, the Sea Fishing Authority and other agencies.

A Southern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority patrol vessel was named after her in recognition of her contribution to the coastal fishing community and fisheries management.

Stella said: “I’m surprised and honoured to get the MBE. I have been involved in working on behalf of fishing industry since 1973.”

  • A MAN who helped save Hampshire from devastating floods in 2014 has been awarded an OBE.

David Jordan, former operations director at the Environment Agency, co-ordinates flood prevention and response across Britain.

The recent retiree, who lives in Crawley, near Winchester, has been rewarded for services to the environment and international environmental protection.

It was under his watch that many homes and businesses in Winchester were protected after the River Itchen burst its banks in February 2014.

But he also courted controversy that year after describing the agency's response to flooding in the Somerset Levels as a "success story".

Around 5,000 homes were left underwater there but Mr Jordan said efforts to save a further 1.3 million other homes were worthy of praise.

Mr Jordan, previously deputy director of operations and southern regional director, retired in March but works one day a week on a fixed term contract to complete a contract for the agency. He was replaced by Tony Willison.

HAMPSHIRE-based Richard Ladd-Jones, a grade six Ministry of Defence employee, has also received an OBE for his work in defence policy and operations.

FORMER University of Southampton deputy vice-chancellor Professor Paul Curran will be knighted for his work in higher education.

He is currently vice-chancellor at City University London, and has previously worked as a NASA research scientist, academic geographer and advisor to the European Space Agency.

He said:  “This is a great honour, not only for me but for all of City’s staff, students, alumni, partners and friends.  

"It is a daily privilege to lead such a strong and distinctive global institution.”

“A Knighthood is an amazing and a profoundly humbling surprise.  I am immensely grateful for the life-changing effect that higher education had on me, for the encouragement of my many colleagues and for the support of my wife and daughter, who have been with me every step of the way.”