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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Honours for trio who made a difference to communities

Years of dedication to education, the theatre and the community have led to three West Cumbrian figures receiving New Year Honours from the Queen.

Cath Richardson, former principal of the Lakes College at Lillyhall, was awarded an OBE for services to further education.

Miss Richardson, who retired last summer, said: “I felt very honoured to be awarded an OBE for doing my job. I was incredibly flattered and thrilled. It means an awful lot.

“It is something I could not have done without the help and support of staff at the college and from my family.

“I was proud to be able to make a bit of a difference in West Cumbria.”

Miss Richardson, of Wigton, thanked college governors for putting her forward for the honour.

She has worked in education for 34 years and for six years as principal at Lakes College.

She had been heavily involved with many changes at the college, including the addition of the 14-19 SEN (Special Educational Needs) centre and of the Britain’s Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre.

Also honoured was Sue Cashmore, chairman of Cockermouth Flood Action Group, who was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the town, particularly after the 2009 floods.

Miss Cashmore, 53, of Gote Road, said: “I am very honoured to have all the hard work that I have done for Cockermouth recognised.

“The greatest reward is just seeing the work completed and this recognition is the icing on the cake.

“I was very surprised when I got the letter and I thought it was a circular.

“It’s nice but that’s not what I set out for.”

Miss Cashmore said the biggest achievement was getting agencies to work together and with the community.

The action group was told it would take between 10 and 15 years for flood defences to be put in place but the project has already been completed.

Patric Gilchrist, executive director of Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, was made an MBE for services to the arts.

Mr Gilchrist, 66, of Embleton, near Cockermouth, has been with the theatre since 1998.

Under his stewardship it has grown to attract more than 130,000 visitors a year.

He said: “I was bemused when I found out.

“It happens to have my name on it but it’s very much the achievement of hundreds of people – current and past staff, volunteers and those people who had the vision of a permanent theatre in Keswick and have stuck with it for decades.”

Mr Gilchrist is also involved in developing outreach work in Workington and Cockermouth.

l If you know someone who deserves an honour you can nominate them online at www.cumbria.gov.uk/council-democracy/councillors-democracy-elections/lordlieutenant/nominations.asp

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