DID you know that most honours – things like OBEs and MBEs – don’t go to the rich and famous? In fact, 70 per cent are won by “ordinary” members of the public who may not have any profile beyond their own circle.
They’re the sort of people the Civic Mayor of Tameside meets on a daily basis in normal times. The ones who make an extraordinary difference by volunteering with groups across the borough.
Yet despite all they do, they don’t necessarily receive any credit, and that’s where the honours system comes in. It exists to reward the hard-working and selfless individuals of which we have so many examples in Tameside.
However, they can only win the public recognition they so richly deserve if they are nominated. Fortunately, it’s an easy process and anyone can do it. Nominations do not have to come through an official body or someone like a councillor or minister of religion.
The Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Janet Cooper, said: “My predecessors have told me that the highlight of being mayor is meeting the people who give their time so freely to help the community. I’m really looking forward to hearing their inspiring stories once the lockdown has been lifted and I can fully take up my duties.
“I know they don’t seek any reward for what they do but they deserve recognition. If you know someone you think is worthy of an honour I would strongly encourage you to nominate them. It’s a simple process and you can do it online.”
Age is no barrier for an award – the youngest person to win an MBE was only 13 – but nominations must be made while the person in question is still active.
They should describe what’s special about the candidate’s achievements and how they have made a difference. At least two letters of support are needed. These should be written by people who have first-hand knowledge of the nominee and can endorse their contribution.
Once nominations have been submitted they are rigorously checked by an independent panel, so you need to be patient. It could take two years to get a decision.
Only individuals can be put forward for the birthday and new-year’s honours lists. If you want to nominate a group please contact the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. You can find all the forms at www.tameside.gov.uk/mayor/awards
If you need any further help, phone the honours team in the Cabinet Office on 020 7276 2777 and they’ll talk you through the process and send you everything you need.