YACHTING heroine Ellen MacArthur has become an MBE.

Ellen, who re-wrote the record books when she became the fastest woman ever to sail round the globe this year, receives the award for her outstanding contribution to British sport.

Aged just 24, the Isle of Wight sailor is among the youngest to ever receive an MBE.

The award caps a fantastic year for Ellen, who spent 94 days alone at sea as she attempted to complete the gruelling 24,000 mile Vendee Globe yacht race.

On February 2 this year, she eventually sailed triumphantly into French waters, in second place.

Currently back at sea with her now-famous Kingfisher yacht, Ellen was informed of the good news via satellite link-up.

Clearly elated, she said: "Although I am thrilled to be deemed worthy of such an honour, I accept it on behalf of my team and all those that have helped us achieve success. I could not have done it alone."

Yachting gold medallist Chris Davies, 55, from Portchester, has become an MBE, 21 years after scooping Olympic glory at the Munich games.

Film director Anthony Minghella's phenomenal silver screen success has been recognised with a CBE for services to film drama.

The English Patient and Talented Mr Ripley director hails from Wooton on the Isle of Wight, where his parents still run an ice cream factory.

His mum Gloria said: "We have only had a brief chat, but we are all very excited and will celebrate when he comes back home next weekend."

Southampton football legend Alan Shearer is to receive an OBE for services to Association Football.

For Shearer, 31, who retired from international football after England's ill-fated Euro 2000 campaign, the honour marks an outstanding finale to a prestigious career.

He started with the Saints in 1988, bagging 44 goals in one season for the junior side.

The former England skipper then spent three years in the first team, which saw him regularly break the 20-goal-a-season barrier, before being snapped up by Blackburn Rovers.

He led his new team to the Premiership Championship and on into Europe, and then secured a "dream move" back to his hometown club Newcastle United.

Jim Butler has often been in the media spotlight because of his deputy chairmanship of Camelot, the operators of the National Lottery.

But he is delighted that his less controversial charity work has been recognised with a knighthood.

Mr Butler, 72, of Crawley, near Winchester, will receive a knighthood for his charity work in Hampshire.

The former high profile accountant and farmer has served numerous good causes over the years, with the most prominent being the chairmanship of the £7m Winchester Cathedral Appeal in the early 1990s, the current £5m Brendoncare Appeal and close involvement with the Winchester Festival.

He said: "I am pleased and delighted - it is a great honour.

"It was a great surprise.

"These things come out of the blue. I am pleased and honoured to do the charity work and this comes as a bonus."

Ronald Rhymer, a magistrate and St John Ambulance stalwart living in the Romsey area, has been made an MBE for services to the first aid organisation.

One of Hampshire's longest serving headteachers has been honoured with an OBE for services to education.

Father-of-three Dr Peter Hollis, 60, has been the head at the Oakland's Community School, Lordshill, Southampton, since it was opened in 1982.

He said: "Really I feel the award is for past and present students and the progress they've made.

"Of course, in tandem with that, the school's success is also down to the staff for all their effort and hard work." Council leader, Councillor June Bridle, said: "We are delighted that Dr Peter Hollis has been recognised for his commitment to the education of children in Southampton."

A man who has taught for nearly three decades at the Chandler's Ford school - where he was originally educated - has been awarded the MBE for his services to education and the community.

Jim Vaughan, 52, was born and bred in Eastleigh and went to Toynbee Secondary School as a pupil before moving on to Eastleigh's Barton Peveril College and then Redland College in Bristol where he trained as a teacher.

Married with two grown-up children, Mr Vaughan is head of Toynbee's design and technology department.

His community interests started with the Scout movement and moved onto youth bands.

Commenting on his award, he said: "My late parents would have been very proud of this award.

"I'm really quite humbled. I have worked in the last three decades with a lot of people who, I feel, are more deserving."

Charanjit Garcha was "shaking with excitement" when the Daily Echo told her she had become an MBE.

Mrs Garcha, 60, was awarded the gong as manager of the Southampton Ethnic Minority Achievement Services.

Her organisation is based at the Maytree School in Derby Road, Southampton, and sends language assistants into Southampton schools to help ethnic minority pupils achieve academic success.

Having managed the organisation - previously called the Bilingual Learners Support Service - for 15 years, Mrs Garcha is thrilled with the award.

She said: "I am planning to retire in July. I am extremely pleased my work has been recognised.

"It's a great way to end my career."

Already an OBE, Anita Straker has been awarded the Order of the Bath, CB, for her services to education.

Mrs Straker, 62, from St Mary Bourne, near Andover, is the director of National Strategy for key stage three, for 11 to 14-year-olds.

Working in education all her life, the grandmother of seven is delighted to receive an award - ten years after she was awarded her OBE in 1991.

She travels several times a week to London and works at the Department for Education and Skills.

She said: "I'm delighted with the award. It's pretty unusual to get a second one. But, there's still a lot more work to do."

Janet Bradford, the long-serving deputy registrar at the Southampton Institute of Higher Education, has been awarded an MBE for services to higher education.

Janet, 46, from Southampton, who has worked at the Institute for more than 24 years, is probably best known to former students as the organiser of the graduation ceremony.

However, her role also includes co-ordinating the awards and governance sector at the institution.

A spokesman for the Institute said: "Her administrative flair and diligence has played a major part in underpinning the successful academic development of the Institute's programmes - particularly since its establishment as a higher education corporation in 1989."

Janet said: "The award came as a complete surprise, which I accepted with substantial pride and honour."

The former chief probation officer in Hampshire, John Harding, has been made a CBE.

He has worked in Hampshire from 1985 until 1992, when he became chief probation officer for Inner London.

Anthony Pryor, a Hampshire businessman, the chairman of Devonport Management Ltd, has been made a CBE for services to defence industry.

Dermot Boyle received a MBE for services to asylum seekers and refugees. He was the chief executive of the Refugees Arrivals Project in Winchester.

Two Ministry of Defence civil servants have also been awarded MBEs for their commitment.

Sylvia Dow, from Gosport, has worked for the MoD for 22 years and in that time, has provided an excellent administrative support to the Royal Navy, according to colleagues - particularly with regard to organising training courses for personnel.

Mary Dean, from Fareham, can now look forward to her presentation at Buckingham Palace, after becoming an MBE - for 16 years of service, organising an effective administration system for the Royal Navy diving community in Portsmouth.

Parvin Damani, multicultural adviser for Southampton and South West Hampshire Health Authority, has become an MBE for services to health care.

Also with the same honour is Unity Byles for services to the community in West Meon, near Petersfield.

An OBE goes to Howard Spiers, from Ringwood, for services to trade relations with China.

Fordingbridge-based David Jones, former chief executive of the National Grid, has been made a CBE for services to the electricity industry.

Michael Flewin, executive project manager for Southampton shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft, has become an MBE for services to the defence and shipbuilding industry.