New Year's Honours list 2018: MBE for Great Wymondley businesswoman and BEM for fire cadet champion from Stotfold
PUBLISHED: 22:30 29 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:16 03 January 2018
Four inspirational people are celebrating being awarded three MBEs and a British Empire Medal respectively in the New Year's Honours list 2018 - which has been revealed tonight.
Jessica Butcher of Great Wymondley has been made an MBE for services to digital technology and entrepreneurship, while Stotfold’s Andrew Marshallsay will receive a BEM for his dedication to the fire cadets over the last 15 years.
Jessica has been recognised after a career spent building successful businesses from scratch over the last 20 years. Most notably, her company Blippar – which has offices in London, the US, India and Singapore – has grown into a leading global technology business in six years.
The 40-year-old told the Comet: “I am utterly delighted and a little bit shell-shocked about this award.
“I think it’s a British technology success story, and it’s great that this MBE recognises the work we do.
“I’m drawn to disruption – I love challenging the existing ways of doing things and using technology to try and make life easier and helping people get more out of technology.”
Jessica was named as one of the ‘Inspiring 50’– a list of the most inspiring women in European tech in 2016, and ‘Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs’ in 2012.
“The recognition for women in technology is great because there are so few of us,” she added.
“There’s a real opportunity to get more female entrepreneurs into the public eye so we can maybe get more young girls to consider this as an area of interest and a potential career, and I hope it can have that effect.”
BEM recipient Andrew, of Marjoram Road in Stotfold, started as one of the original team of cadet instructors in 2002, before taking over Watford Fire Cadets in 2009. He remains a fire service trainer with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and is based at the Longfield training centre in Stevenage.
Of the award, the 43-year-old told the Comet: “It came as quite a shock. I’m pretty amazed that I got it and quite proud to have it – it’s an honour. My family are also really pleased about it.
“I just enjoy working with young people really. It’s nice to do something that interests them within the fire service, and maybe help them to join us in the future.
“It’s good to get them doing something different that they would not necessarily get to do elsewhere. I’ve been doing it for about 15 years now and we’ve got a good team of volunteers who are very dedicated.”
Anne Hendy, who has taught maths and history at Hitchin Girls’ School for more than 50 years, has received the MBE.
She said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded an MBE – I feel that I have been rewarded for doing something I love.”
School head Frances Manning said: “We are so delighted that Anne has been recognised for her extraordinary service to so many young women in Hitchin. Her career teaching maths at Hitchin Girls’ has inspired many students to pursue careers both in maths and the teaching profession.”
Letchworth’s Susan Platten, a business and partnership manager for the Department for Works and Pensions, has received the MBE for her services to young people.