Queen’s Birthday Honours for Northumberland residents

Carole Catchpole with Breeze the hedgehog.
Carole Catchpole with Breeze the hedgehog.

Two north Northumberland residents from the same village are among those to have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Longframlington’s David Carr, who runs the village shop, and Carole Catchpole, founder of the Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust – one of this year’s Jam Jar Army charities, have been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

David Carr, right, at his Longframlington shop.

David Carr, right, at his Longframlington shop.

David was honoured for services to the community in the village.

His citation reads: ‘Since 1974 he has served his community in Longframlington as the local proprietor of the village shop in the village where he has provided an unfailing and cheerful service from his tiny but comprehensively stocked corner shop.

‘His shop also acts as a village chemist, holding dispensed prescriptions from the GP surgery until they can be collected. He is also the unofficial and unpaid post office and parcel collecting point for almost the whole community.

‘He continues to be a one-man delivery service for the elderly and disabled in the community, not only delivering their provisions but checkingon their wellbeing and providing welcome social interaction and company. There is also a dry-cleaning service and he even organises the village Christmas tree.

‘The annual village show is heavily supported by his shop, as are many other village and community events throughout the year. During difficult local conditions, like a significant snowfall or storm, both he and his staff will phone all the elderly living in the area in isolated homes to ensure that they are well and not trapped by snow or fallen trees.

‘For many years he has been a constant weekly volunteer and visitor to the patients in St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle and has been a member of the Round Table which organises lunches and other events for the elderly’.

For her part, Carole has been recognised for services to the protection of hedgehogs.

Her citation reads: ‘She has made a huge difference in caring for hedgehogs and educating the general public in their care and preservation. It started in the mid-1990s when she found injured hedgehogs wandering in her garden and looked after them until they were fit to be released.

‘She sought advice from wildlife organisations and vets and educated herself in their habitat and needs. She was shocked to find out how much the population had been declining, so she transformed her garden into a hedgehog-friendly site using second-hand rabbit hutches, turning her garage into a rescue centre, funding everything herself, including food, electricity (for heat pads), medication and vet fees.

‘She single-handedly took care of the hedgehogs for 12 years and then persuaded friends to help with daily tasks. She needed more volunteers, so she advertised in veterinary surgeries and local shops. This led to an expansion of the centre. She gives opportunities to students to gain work experience and has given talks to schools, Brownies, Guides and the WI as well as welcoming vulnerable adults.

‘She set up Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust in 2011 and registered it as a charity in 2013. It is the only rescue centre dedicated to hedgehogs’.

Elsewhere, there were MBEs for Lynemouth couple Michael and Irene Cullen, who are foster carers with Newcastle City Council, for their services to children and families.

Bedlington resident Gleniss McNeal, who is a volunteer for the National Trust, has been awarded a BEM for services to heritage in Northumberland.

There is also a BEM for Alan Nixon, from Ashington, for his voluntary service to Newbiggin Golf Club and Collingwood College, in Morpeth.

And Cramlington’s Tom McCormack, child maintenance group director at the Department for Work and Pensions, has been made a CBE for services to child maintenance reform.