Lancashire charity champion, professor and volunteering stalwart among those named in 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours list

Lancashire's good and great have been recognised with awards in this year's Queen's Birthday Honour's list.

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 4:55 am

Graham Riding, BEM

A Preston man who has dedicated his spare time to helping hundreds and raising thousands of pounds has been honoured with a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Graham Riding, 55, has been recognised For Services to the Community.

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Andrew Snowdon and Andy Pratt

“It was a big surprise”, said the father-of-one, who works for the Department of Work and Pensions.

“I work for the civil service anyway, and when I saw an email to my work address from the Cabinet Office, I thought ‘I haven’t applied for a job there’. Then I was thinking that it must be to referee on a job application, not for one minute did I expect this.”

He added: “When I read the email I was just dumb-struck for half an hour. I printed it off and just kept looking at it.”

Although the award has been given for services to Leyland, Mr Riding has never lived in the town. He grew up in Lostock Hall and then moved to Fulwood after marrying wife Delia.

Graham Riding

However, a lot of his voluntary work is connected to the town through the Leyland Round Table, which he joined in his early 20s, after his brother became vice chairman.

During his 27 years with the group, he has helped raise more than £500,000 for various charities, through a variety of fundraisers.

He is also the Chair of the 41 Club - for Round Table members over the compulsory leaving age of 45-representing them at civic events such as laying wreaths on Remembrance Day and organising fundraising activities.

The biggest event is the annual bonfire, where he takes a hands-on approach, taking leave from work to help build the bonfire and then collecting and counting money taken at the event.

Anthony Rowbottom, MBE

In preparation for Christmas each year, he is actively involved in sourcing, packing and delivering approximately 130 Christmas food hampers to support local vulnerable people, which he says is “very rewarding.

As well as this, he also supports schools and scouting organisations with getting equipment, and since 2018, has worked with the Greggs bakery charity to pay for, and provide breakfasts for under privileged children two local primary schools.

In addition, the father-of-one is a governor at St Peter’s Primary School, Fulwood, and deputy warden at St John’s Church in Broughton. He and his wife also support Leyland Hedgehog Rescue, helping to look after sick animals in the autumn and winter.

He said: “It takes a lot of time up, but I like being busy. I’m very organised! I don’t say ‘no’ too well.”

He says he has “a rough idea” of who nominated him, and says he is “very grateful”.

He said: “Really, I’m just one member helping out, some of the rest should get this too.

“I just do it, to help people if I can, not for any kind of award.”

Anthony Rowbottom, MBE

A Preston-based professor has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his service to pathology during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anthony Rowbottom, who lives in Lytham, is a consultant immunologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, based at the Royal Preston Hospital, and clinical director for pathology for Lancashire and South Cumbria Pathology Network.

He was also appointed chairman of clinical immunology at the University of Central Lancashire in 2018 and has made a significant contribution to healthcare science as the clinical lead for the Scientist Training Programme (STP) MSc program.

His work on detection of residual disease has improved patient outcomes following allogeneic bone marrow transplantations and he has raised more than £2m in research grants and currently sits on the UK National External Quality Assessment Services Immunology steering committee.

He sits on the NW Genomics Strategy Board. He has led the delivery of Covid-19 swab and serology testing across the North 3 network and is the principal investigator for Excovir, a multi-centre study investigating the impact of Covid-19 on cellular immunity.

“It’s a great honours to be awarded the MBE,” said Prof Rowbottom, who is originally from London and came to work in Lancashire in 2007.

“The pandemic has been a challenging time like to other it’s also a tribute to the hundreds of dedicated staff across the region.

“How the human body has coped with Covid has been a great tribute to the immune system generally and research carried out into that during this unprecedented period will help with treatment of other medical issues in the future.”

Andy Pratt, MBE

Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, has congratulated his future Deputy, who has been recognised with an MBE.

Andy Pratt, who was last month nominated as the Commissioner's choice for deputy to help him lead the fight against crime in Lancashire, was recognised for his charitable and community work, particularly during the last 16 months throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has received the MBE for years of dedicated volunteering within Lancashire, – particularly during the covid-19 crisis. This has included working with groups such as the Lancashire Forum of Faiths which he chaired, helped deliver food to isolated residents, operated a food market in Broadgate and volunteering as a Covid tester.

Mr Snowden said: "I am absolutely delighted that Andy has been recognised for the vital work he has done to support communities in Lancashire, particularly during the last year in what has been extremely challenging circumstances for all of us.

"This award is well deserved and a great example of why Andy was my first-choice to join me as Deputy and support me over the coming years as we set out our plans to focus on cracking down on criminals, supporting victims, recruiting more police officers and ensuring that all areas of Lancashire have access to the police when they need them.

"I'm really pleased as this recognises the dedication that Andy has shown to helping the people of Lancashire through volunteering and ultimately helping to support our communities, which builds on his decades of service within policing. I could not think of anyone more suited to helping me deliver against the priorities on which I was elected."

Mr Pratt said: "It is a real honour to be awarded and MBE and to be recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. This award recognises the important role of volunteers during what has been a really challenging time and I am proud to be one of them.

"I will utilise my experience of building strong links with third sector organisations and local communities when I take on the role of Deputy Commissioner and cannot wait to get started. I look forward to supporting Andrew in leading the fight against crime, anti-social behaviour and in tackling the issues that matter most to people."