It is with great pleasure we can announce that several of Bury’s VCSE Sector have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List. Including our very own Paul Fairweather (Bury VCFA LGBTQI Development Worker) who has received an MBE for services to disability and the LGBT community.
Many of you will be familiar with his work in Bury supporting the Bury LGBTQI Forum with a range of work but with a specific focus on tackling hate crime and ensuring LGBT residents in Bury experience inclusive services within the Borough. As well as providing awareness sessions across both the voluntary sector as well as the public sector including health professionals and the police.
But Paul is also a Trustee with Breakthrough UK and also works the other half of the week at the George House Trust. The focus of his time at the George House Trust is developing their positive speakers programme where volunteers share and talk about their experiences of HIV to raise awareness and also tackle the discrimination and misconceptions around HIV and AIDS.
Although this is only a snapshot of Paul’s work in the sector. He has spent over 50 years supporting, campaigning and advocating for the LGBT Community in Greater Manchester. In the first half of the 1980s, he was working at the Lesbian Gay Center and establishing the Manchester Aids Line. In the second half of the 1980s, he worked for Manchester City Council as one of their Gay Men’s Officers. That’s before his work as a campaigner on a range of LGBT issues including Section 28 in the 1980s and his time working as a local councillor in Manchester.
On being awarded the honour, Paul said:
“My gay activism began in 1974 and my HIV activism in 1984. Today, I am still an activist and I see this MBE as recognition of the work that not only I, but thousands of others, have done to help create a very different world. A world where living with HIV holds no one back. A world where prejudice and discrimination are challenged. A world where disabled people and LGBT people have far greater equality.”
Marie Wilson (Partnership and Policy Manger at Bury VCFA) “Pauls is an absolute pleasure to work alongside at Bury VCFA. He doesn’t just bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Bury and an immeasurable passion for his work. Paul is more than worthy of this honour for the countless hours paid and unpaid he has committed both to the voluntary sector and more importantly to local people. He has touched and improved more people’s lives than he will probably ever acknowledge.”
Other recognised from within the sector include –
Ann Chapman has been given a BEM for services to the community in Radcliffe, Ann has been involved in a variety of projects in the area over the years including the Rotary Club and the Poppy Appeal but is probably most well known for her volunteering with the 10th Radcliffe Club Scouts including managing the local district campsite.
Rachel Parkinson has also been given a BEM for her voluntary work around COVID-19 specifically. Rachel from Whitefield is the founder of Humans MCR which provides food parcels and support to individuals across Greater Manchester including Bury and continues to provide a vital service to the area.
Colonel (Rtd) Brian Mark Gorski MBE, Chairman of the Fusiliers Museum, has received a CBE for services to museums and to the community.
Helen Louise Hyndman (CBE), service coordinator for Ask Eve at The Eve Appeal, has been honoured for charitable services to women with gynaecological cancers.
Huw Charles Davies (CBE) has served as chief executive of the British Association for Supported Employment for services to employment for disabled people.
Anyone can nominate someone for an honour. It is a rolling nomination system so there are no deadlines for submission. The nomination procedure is confidential i.e., the person you are nominating must not know that they are being or have been nominated. This doesn’t mean however that you can’t get others to help you.
Further information, guidance and how to nominate can be found here: http://www.gmhonours.org/