Fundraising and charity heroes recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list

PUBLISHED: 22:30 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:56 30 December 2019

Ginny Greenwood (left), Ruth Barnett (top), Amy Leonard. Pictures: Nigel Sutton/Ruth Barnett/Amy Leonard

Ginny Greenwood (left), Ruth Barnett (top), Amy Leonard. Pictures: Nigel Sutton/Ruth Barnett/Amy Leonard

Nigel Sutton/Ruth Barnett/Amy Leonard

The achievements of fundraising heroes and community workers, artists, sportspeople, business leaders and statesmen have once again been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Virginia Greenwood MBE

Ginny Greenwood has been appointed MBE after decades of fundraising which she estimates has raised around £17 million.

Ginny, who lives near Kilburn and West Hampstead, was one of the founding directors of the Hampstead and Highgate Festival, bringing together patrons and businesses to back the event.

She later turned her fundraising talents to helping Kilburn's Tricycle Theatre (now the Kiln Theatre).

She said of the honours recognition: says "I have always sought out positions where the work I do has a positive impact on society. I like nothing more than to take a nugget of an idea and create both the practical and financial means to develop it into something that will make a long-lasting difference. It's the same with my voluntary work as a Trustee of Fight for Sight, my years supporting street children and nowadays volunteering with FoodCycle. I want to be useful."

"I am thrilled and deeply honoured to receive an MBE in recognition of my charity work. I have been fortunate to work with many, many remarkable people who have supported and inspired me over the years. To them I say a huge thank you, this honour would not have come about without you."

Other organisations to have benefited from the 62-year-old's efforts over the years include The Mayor of London's Fund for Young Musicians, which Boris Johnson asked her to lead as founder CEO.

Most recently Virginia created and delivered the celebration of the Institution of Civil Engineers' (ICE) 200th Anniversary (bicentenary) - a pivotal part of the Year of Engineering campaign.

She is now a trustee for the charity Fight For Sight and involved with Food Cycle, at St Cuthbert's Church.

Ginny runs Exercise With Me, providing pilates and exercise classes, with the aim of keeping older people healthy and active.

Amy Leonard MBE

The founder of an education charity, which works with more than 8,000 young people each year, has been appointed MBE.

In 2009 Amy Leonard, from Queen's Park, received the honour for services to young people and education.

She set up the Transformation Trust, dedicated to widening the opportunities to disadvantaged young people, working with schools across the country.

It is designed to deliver programmes giving young people the tools to develop new skills, grow in confidence, learn to work as a team, and discover hidden talents and interests.

Amy heard about the honour several weeks ago, and said the news came at an opportune moment.

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"It was one of those days - not a great day," she said. "I was grumbling away to my husband and looking at the post and saw this nice envelope that wasn't junk mail.

"In it was a letter saying I'd been nominated. I was stunned. It stopped me in my tracks.

"It was extremely lovely and I felt overwhelmed.

"It's wonderful because I've got the most incredible people and it's all for them. They work so, so hard. I'm honoured to be part of the team."

In the last 10 years, the Transformation Trust has worked with more than 600,000 young people aged 11-19, partnering with organisations such as Barclays, Dell, KPMG, M&G, Pret, the Royal Navy and Sky.

The trust is currently organising a programme for 16 sixth formers to get involved in the US presidential elections next year - all fully funded, a two-week programme in the swing state of Florida. The same programme ran in 2012 and 2016.

Every year, the charity also organises a major pop concert and careers fair, called Rock Assembly, at Wembley Arena. This year's event, taking place on May 7, will mean that 100,000 young people have taken part in this inspirational day over the years.

Ruth Barnett MBE

For services to Holocaust education and awareness, Ruth Barnett has been appointed MBE.

The 84-year-old, who lives near Kilburn, was just a toddler when she came to England on the Kindertransport in 1938

"I'm obviously very pleased that my work in Holocaust education is being recognised, particularly given we don't seem to have made much progress towards stopping war and genocide."

The former teacher and psychotherapist added: "I really value going into schools and other groups to get them thinking. I try to get them thinking about how they would like the world to be. We have international laws to stop genocide but we can't use them because we have untouchable rogue leaders in many countries."

She has given nearly 1,000 talks and in the last five years alone more than 15,000 adults and children have heard her testimony through the Holocaust Educational Trust's outreach pogramme.

Others from the Brent area on the honours list include:●

Teresa Graham - appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to small business.

Jonathan Hall (formerly Foreign Affairs Private Secretary) - appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for public service.

Suzanne Lehrer (senior government lawyer) - appointed OBE for public service.

Andrew Carroll (senior executive officer for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) - awarded a British Empire Medal for voluntary service.

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