Published: 22:31, 07 June 2019
| Updated: 21:31, 10 June 2019
One of Kent's leading business figures and a auctioneer are among the people from Kent who have been named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Jo James, chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and a prominent business campaigner has been awarded an OBE.
She has received the award for her services to the Kent economy.
Scroll to hear a full interview with Jo James
WATCH: People from Kent in the Queen's Birthday Honours
On receiving the award she said: "To receive an award for doing a job I love and representing such a dynamic and diverse business community is a massive honour.
“What the team at the Chamber continues to achieve for our members and Patrons is amazing and I’d like to share this award with every one of them.”
Also honoured was Clive Emson, most famous for his appearances on Homes Under the Hammer.
But it was his services to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people with his work for the Young Lives Foundation that got him an MBE.
The Monks Horton resident, near Folkestone, said he is feeling "surprised" about the accolade: "The thing that's amazing is that I'm not sure who put me up for it.
"It was a complete and utter surprise. I've kept the charity work under the radar."
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent Philip John Algernon Sidney, MBE, Viscount De L'Isle is the only person in Kent to recieve a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO).
Honours are published at New Year and on the Queen’s official birthday in June.
The list consists of a number of different awards, including Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and British Empire Medal (BEM).
People from Kent are among these who will soon be invited to a special ceremony to receive their prestigious award.
Here are some of the county's most notable figures set to collect an honour from the Queen.
You can see the full list of Kent people honoured at the bottom of this story.
For services to the Economy in Kent
During her 29 years at the Chamber of Commerce Jo James has seen the expansion of the organisation to 61,000 people across the country.
Her team of 26 people support businesses with large events programme, representation, international trade advice, and the South East Business Boost programme and growth hub initiatives.
Speaking to KentOnline about the achievement she said: "It hasn't sunk in what-so-ever. I've known for five weeks and how I don't know how I've managed to keep it a secret that long - it hasn't been easy.
"Like so many other people I go about doing my job and you do it the best you can and it's so gratifying that your efforts are rewarded, and in such a remarkable way, is beyond all expectations.
"I've been able to do a job I really enjoy and it's good I've been able to have a positive impact."
For services to the NHS organ and blood donations
Shibu Chacko is a specialist nurse committed to improving organ, blood and stem cell donation among black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.
Patients from these communities normally have to wait longer for a transplant than white patients, due to a lack of suitable organs.
Donate Life UK was set up by Mr Chacko in 2016 to help coordinate events which educate and encourage different groups to consider donation.
The 42-year-old estimates to have recruited about 1,000 new donors each year.
Monks Horton near Folkestone
For services to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people
You may recognise leading property auctioneer Clive Emson from Homes Under the Hammer.
But he is not just a successful businessman - the 72-year-old has helped hundreds of young people find their feet over the years.
The founding chairman of Young Lives Foundation, Mr Emson has been a key member of the charity ever since.
He recently acted as father of the groom to a young boy he helped secure a home and a job.
The Monks Horton resident, near Folkestone, said he is feeling 'surprised' about the accolade: "The thing that's amazing is that I'm not sure who put me up for it.
"It was a complete and utter surprise. I've kept the charity work under the radar."
For services to the community
Sandra Scotting fought to save Steephill Independent School from closing down.
She worked tirelessly to help set up the school as a charitable trust and has been a governor ever since.
She also pressed for 10 years to gain permission for a memorial for the 173 who lost their lives in the Bethnal Green train disaster.
Since 1968, she has acted as a secretary of the Foresters Friendly Society in the Walthamstow East London Branch.
For voluntary service to weightlifting
Commonwealth Games gold-medalist and Olympic weightlifter Andrew Callard decided to pass on his knowledge when his career came to an end.
In 2002, he formed Europa Weightlifting Club, volunteering to give young people an opportunity to get involved in the sport.
Named coach of the year by British Weightlifting, Mr Callard produced England’s first ever female weightlifting medalist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, five out of six English weightlifters were from Europa.
For services to adult education
A ceramics tutor who has been teaching adult learners for more than 40 years has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to community learning.
Mary Chapman, 69, from Walderslade, has been teaching ceramics and pottery at Medway Adult Education in Rochester since 1988 but has been teaching for 40 years.
Medway Adult Education runs courses which cover a broad range of topics including pottery and ceramics, drawing and painting, history and psychology, health and wellbeing sessions as well as language and digital skills.
There are two centres in Gillingham and Rochester which offer lifelong learning courses. There are also supported learning programmes for people with additional needs and life skills and employability courses.
She said: “I was shocked when I received the nomination, I thought someone was having a joke with me when I got the letter. My job is my passion and I can’t quite believe that I’ve been given this honour for doing my job. I was teaching before I went to college and I’ve been teaching ever since. I’ve taught hundreds of students and I’ve still got some in my classes who have been there for 20-odd years. It’s an incredible feeling and I’m still wrapping my head around it. I would encourage anyone, no matter their age, to find out more about the classes that Medway Adult Education offers - there is so much they can do.”
Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s community services chief, said: “I am thrilled that Mary has received this prestigious honour. Mary is an extremely well valued member of the Medway Adult Education team. She has had a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of learners and they are at the heart of everything she does. Not only has Mary helped adults re-engage with education but she has also helped them develop confidence to explore other courses. Medway Adult Education runs a number of courses which cover a broad range of topics for all abilities.”
Folkestone but has now moved to Cambridgeshire
For services to the community
Deborah Fletcher has helped feed rough sleepers in Folkestone three times almost every week, for more than two decades.
She never missed a session, even when the town was halted by snow she led her team on foot to the two distribution centres.
Ms Fletcher manages FoodStop, formed by The Rainbow Centre, which involves sourcing food, organising volunteers and running a smooth operation.
She insists it is a team effort and the award is for all the volunteers who have worked alongside her.
For services to the community
David Hogben has been instrumental is creating 1,300 extra opportunities at Herne Bay Sailing Club.
He raised more than £100,000 for boats, wetsuits and storage facilities to encourage new people to join.
Working with Herne Bay Pact committee, youth groups, schools and Disability Sailing, Mr Hogben has spent the last nine years getting all different people involved in the sport.
For services to the historic environment, conservation and cultural heritage
Carole Ryan is the country's longest serving listed buildings advisor in Historic England, listing at least 6,400 properties since her career began.
From 1968, her work has brought about a strong wave of heritage-led regeneration on the south coast, and she has published an article on the history of her trade.
Ms Ryan's important work helps celebrate these buildings, protect them in law, and make sure they can be enjoyed by generations to come.
May Glassford Smith
Fundraising for the NSPCC
A lady who has dedicated her time to fundraising for the NSPCC has been named in the Queen's Birthday honours list.
May Glassford Smith has spent the last 30 years fundraising for the charity by hosting coffee mornings and holding tombolas at her local fete in Wilmington.
She regularly invites guests from the community, including members of the Wilmington WI, to her house that she shares with her husband Ralph for coffee and cake.
The last coffee morning she hosted raised £1,600.
The 72-year-old grandmother of four began raising money for the charity in 1988.
She said: "I just decided I wanted to do something to help children and I picked the NSPCC.
"I would like to think all children have a nice happy life, but some times that's not always possible."
"I was overwhelmed and surprised by the award, it was totally unexpected.
"I am very grateful for the help I get from my husband, daughter and my group of friends."
Michele Baxter, NSPCC community fundraising manager for Kent added: "May is an inspirational volunteer who works so hard throughout the year putting on wonderful events both at her home and in the local community.
"Both her and her husband Ralph are so supportive of the charity, always looking at opportunities to support the work of the NSPCC in order that more children are protected from abuse.
"She has been involved with the charity for around three decades and I couldn’t be more thrilled for May to be honoured in this way.
"It is a fitting acknowledgement of her commitment to the NSPCC. Well done May, and congratulations on your well-deserved award."
Reverend Carol Rosemary Avery
For services to the community
The Rev Carol Avery, curate at St Mary's Stone in Stone, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to the community.
Since following her husband, the Rev Andrew Avery into the church, she and her team have been committed to "offering a shoulder to cry on" - and much more.
She helped set up a cafe at the church which evolved into a multi-agency hub agencies offering advice on a wide range of matters.
The mother-of-five said: "It started as somewhere to get a coffee that was not as expensive as going to Bluewater and just grew from there with up to 150 people coming along to the sessions."
In December 2017 she launched Mary's Child, a joint project between her church and St Mary, Greenhithe which expanded their work in the community.
The Rev Avery, 61, added: "We could see the same issues coming up time and time again and saw the need to respond to requests."
Both neighbouring places of worship provide a "parish pastry" a simple form of food bank. They also provide clothing, furniture, household goods and toys.
She said: "I am obviously thrilled. When I got the letter I thought is this for real and it must be a scam. Now that it's out I think I might crack open a bottle of champagne. I am very energetic for my age and work ridiculous hours. But this is not just about me, it's a team effort."
While her husband is a lifelong Christian, she is a latecomer giving up her job in market research in 2002.
Services to the magistracy and to the community
Former magistrate Paul Graeme has been recognised for his services to the magistracy and to the community in Sandwich.
The former mayor, 71, who continues to serve as a councillor on Sandwich Town Council has thanked fate for his civil officer career.
Having begun his career in banking in Sevenoaks, he moved to Sandwich in 1988 to take up a managerial role at Lloyds Bank in Margate.
In 1992 the company had a re-organisation prompting him to leave the industry and take on his family business in property management.
Fives years later in 1997 he became a magistrate and later the deputy chair of the East Kent bench. He retired after two decades, aged 70.
He said: "Fate took its hand. If I hadn't have come to Margate and finished up in banking then I wouldn't have had the time to be a magistrate."
Reacting to the news of his Queen's Honour, he said: "I'm deeply honoured.
"Being a magistrate was a fascinating insight into the way the justice system works and how people deal with their lives."
Cllr Graeme, who was brought up in the Medway towns, was instrumental in setting up the South East Regional Confiscation Unit which is a specialised unit working to deprive criminals of the proceeds of their crimes.
He said: "In my last year in magistrates, I believe we retrieved £18 million pounds in the south east."
A member of Sandwich Town Council for 12 years, he has served as the deputy mayor for three years and mayor for four.
He said: "I don't consider it to have been work, just being part of the community and making sure the community is working to the best of its ability.
"Together with a lot of other councillor we've achieved a lot of great things for Sandwich. It's always been a joint effort.
"Sandwich is a wonderful place to live with a great community spirit.
"I couldn't have done it all without my wife Sue supporting me all of the way."
Cllr Graeme has been treasurer for Age Concern in Sandwich for 25 years, treasurer for Sandwich branch on the NSPCC for 25 years, a member of Sandwich Rotary for 22 years, chairman of P22 Trust and the newly re-instated Sandwich branch of the Royal British Legion.
He has one son and three grandchildren who live in Manchester.
Queen's Fire Service Medal
Malcolm Cowie, believed to be the UK’s longest serving operational whole-time firefighter, has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
The 65-year-old from Deal who hung up his helmet with Kent Fire and Rescue Service last year is the only person in Kent to receive the Queen's Fire Service Medal.
The former watch manager told KentOnline he was on holiday in America in February when he received the news. He said: "It's very humbling to get such a prestigious award. It was totally unexpected.
"It means a lot to me because the fire brigade was my whole working life and it's the fire service that nominated me."
Mr Cowie joined the service as a junior firefighter in 1969, aged 16.
In his almost 50 year career he tackled everything from small fires and simple rescues to devastating explosions and international aid missions.
He was based at Deal Fire Station in London Road for large sections of his career, but the role saw him posted to a number of different stations around the county including Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Dover.
He assisted in the Crypt fire at Dover (March 1977), the Herald of Free Enterprise ship disaster (March 1987), the Deal bombing (September 1989), and the fires at the paper mills.
He's also helped in search and rescue incidents abroad including the volcano on Monserrat back in 1995, the Kosovo conflict and the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and continues to assist The Department for International Development (DFID) in overseas operations.
Other strings to his bow include helping to set up Kent’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, now known as the Technical Rescue Team – one of the UK’s first fully operational teams able to respond to a wide range of major and catastrophic incidents.
The new medal will join his prestigious Kent medal - a rare accolade recognising outstanding service and commitment to KFRS - awarded in 2008.
Now settled into retirement, Mr Cowie says he is enjoying more time with his wife, Susan, and two grandsons, Max, five and three-year-old Jayden and the opportunity to travel.
Here is the full list of people from Kent on the Queen's birthday honours list
Professor Mark Jonathan Caulfield. Chief Scientist Genomics England and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Queen Mary University of London. For services to the 100,000 Genomes Project. (Kent)
ORDER OF THE BATH
Graham Archer. Director Improvement and Learning, Children's Social Care, Department for Education. For services to Children and Families. (Kent)
ROYAL VICTORIAN ORDER
Philip John Algernon Sidney, MBE. Viscount De L'Isle. Lord-Lieutenant of Kent. (Kent)
ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Joanna Sarah Key. Director Legislation and Constitution, Department for Exiting the EU. For public service. (Kent)
Eric Roy Wilson. Executive director Corporate Services, Competition and Markets Authority. For services to Competition. (Kent)
Capt David Charles Cole, MVO. R.M., (RETD), director of Music, The Royal British Legion. For services to Music and to Remembrance. (Deal, Kent)
Irene Rudge Graham. Chief executive Scale-Up Institute. For services to Business and the Economy. (Kent)
Josephine Ann James. Chief executive Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. For services to the Economy in Kent. (Ashford, Kent)
Dr Jacqueline Ann McKenna, MBE. Formerly director of Nursing, Professional Leadership, NHS Improvement. For services to Nursing. (Kent)
Andrew Leo Sharp. For political service. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent)
Jeremy Peter Ash. For services to Women and Girls and to International Development. (Longfield, Kent)
Shibu Chacko. Specialist Nurse NHS Blood and Transplant and Community Volunteer. For services to the NHS. (Chatham, Kent)
Sonja Meryl Drew. Deputy head of Senior Staff Human Resources, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. For public and charitable services. (Tonbridge, Kent)
Clive Robert Emson. For services to Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Young People in Kent. (Folkstone, Kent)
Jim Findlay. For services to the community in Hollingbourne Kent. (Kent)
Paul Gordon Graeme. For services to the Magistracy and to the community in Sandwich Kent. (Kent)
Dr Andrew Robert Kemp. Group Sales and Marketing director Bidfood. For services to the Hospitality Industry. (Folkestone, Kent)
Sandra May Scotting. For services to the community in East London and Kent. (Longfield, Kent)
BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL
Dr Andrew Ashbee. For services to the community in Snodland Kent. (Snodland, Kent)
Reverend Carol Rosemary Avery. For services to the community in Kent. (Greenhithe, Kent)
Andrew John Callard. For voluntary service to Weightlifting. (Otford, Kent)
Mary Francisca Sarah Chapman. For services to Adult Education in Rochester and Medway Kent. (Chatham, Kent)
Deborah Jane Fletcher. For services to the community in Folkestone Kent. (Isleham, Cambridgeshire)
David Hogben. For services to the community in Herne Bay Kent. (Herne Bay, Kent)
Molly Cecilia Poulter. For services to the community in Maidstone Kent. (Maidstone, Kent)
Keith John Rawlings. For services to charity. (Hythe, Kent)
Carol Reed. For services to Save the Children and the community in Canterbury. (Canterbury, Kent)
Emma Slater. Head of Music West Lodge School, Kent. For services to Education. (Kent, DA14)
May Glassford Smith. Fundraiser National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. For charitable service. (Dartford, Kent)
Janet Edith Marion Swann. For services to People with Disabilities in Kent. (Kent, DA8)
QUEEN'S POLICE MEDAL
Temporary Chief Superintendent John Joseph McDermott. Kent Police.
QUEEN'S FIRE SERVICE MEDAL
Malcolm Livingstone Cowie. Formerly Watch manager, Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
More by this authorRebecca Tuffin