Three from Comet country in New Year Honours

Sarah Sheldrick has received a BEM for her service to the community

Sarah Sheldrick has received a BEM for her service to the community - Credit: Archant

Three people from Comet country have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Janette Wood has received an MBE for services to education

Janette Wood has received an MBE for services to education - Credit: Archant

Janette Wood, of Clothall Common in Baldock, has been awarded an MBE for her services to education, having been a teacher at Freman College in Buntingford since 1975.

The 59-year-old taught PE and English full-time, but now spends one day a week in the classroom since becoming partnership manager for the North East Herts School Sport Partnership eight years ago.

“I was completely amazed and in disbelief really when I received the letter, so much so I wasn’t sure it was real,” said Miss Wood, who has lived in Baldock for the last 25 years.

“I’m very humbled that people feel I’ve done something worthwhile and valuable. I’ve worked with some amazing people in my career and while you can work hard by yourself, you can’t achieve as much if you haven’t got great people around you.”

Sarah Sheldrick from Stevenage, who works as a police community volunteer, received a British Empire Medal (BME) for her service to the community.

She has been a police volunteer with Hertfordshire Constabulary for more than two years and, as a keen pet lover, has visited junior and secondary schools to deliver crime prevention and safety messages with the help of rescued animals.

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“I think there are so many people out there who deserve this but I would never see myself in that category at all,” she said.

“I love what I do and helping people and cannot believe I have been recognised in this way. It really is a shock. I have had a few weeks for it to sink in but even now I just think there are so many people who deserve it more. A friend texted me the other day joking and said ‘I hope you do not expect me to address you as Sarah Sheldrick, BEM’ – it made me laugh but I still cannot believe it.

“I will just continue, along with the dogs, to make people happy and try and make a difference as long as I can.”

Miss Sheldrick had previously been nominated in the services to the community category at the 2013 Comet Community Awards, where she was a finalist.

Also awarded a BEM was Gillian Wood from Lower Stondon.

The 71-year-old was recognised for services to children through her role as secretary of Biggleswade district scouts.

She said: “I am gobsmacked. I have had to keep it very quiet for over a month. I am just bowled over by it all.

“My best times are with the new Beavers and Cubs when they come for their first uniform. It’s just amazing how proud they are when they put on their turquoise or green sweat shirt. You can see them grow several inches.”