Birthday Honours: Appreciation for local heroes

Hanif Malik, chief executive of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Beeston, who has been awarded the OBE.
Hanif Malik, chief executive of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Beeston, who has been awarded the OBE.
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Twenty-four individuals who have made a difference to the life of people in West Yorkshire have been singled out for recognition in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Among them are some of the great and the good of Leeds, including Hanif Malik, founder and chief executive of Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Beeston, who received the OBE.

Mr Malik, who was awarded an honorary degree from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2014, started Hamara from humble beginnings in a small office with two part-time staff and it has grown to become the largest ethnic minority organisation in the voluntary and community sector in Leeds.

Working primarily with the South Asian community, it now employs over 20 staff in a £1.2m purpose-built centre who deliver a range of health, well-being and educational services.

There was also recognition for a prominent figure in the region’s business world.

Alexander McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, received an MBE for services to local business and the economy.

Mr McWhirter, 57, of Leeds, has played a key role in investing £110m in UK and European money in more than 450 companies since 2010.

Collectively, those businesses have since increased their turnover by £370m, while the funds have seen the creation and safeguarding of more than 12,000 jobs.

He said: “Businesses here are fantastic to work with. I have worked with brilliant people with great ideas who have great businesses.”

Andrew Peddle, 73, of Lofthouse near Wakefield, received a British Empire Medal for charitable services to homeless people and victims of human trafficking, after raising over £100,000 for the Salvation Army.

Among others, Dr Geetha Upadhyaya, of Guiseley, who co-founded the Kala Sangam arts organisation in Bradford, was awarded an OBE for services to South Asian arts, while Dr Nima Poovaya-Smith, founder of Alchemy Anew, received an OBE for services to arts and museums. Alchemy seeks to connect people across cultures, generations and nations through art.



Julian Charles Appleyard, of Pontefract, Principal, Rochdale Sixth Form College, Lancashire for services to Education.

Julie Bowman, of Halifax, Area Operations manager, Yorkshire and Humberside, Crown Prosecution Service for services to Law and Order particularly Digital Working.

Hanif Malik, Chief executive, Hamara. For services to Sport and the community particularly in Yorkshire.

Dr Nima Poovaya Smith, of Leeds, Founder and director, Alchemy Anew for services to Arts and Museums in Yorkshire.

Dr Geetha Upadhyaya, of Guiseley, Co-Founder and lately chief executive and Artistic director, Kala Sangam for services to South Asian Arts in the UK.


David Ashton, of Mirfield, for services to the Church of England and the community in Batley West Yorkshire.

Taiyabur Rahman Chowdhury, of West Yorkshire, Formerly Adoption Social Worker, Bradford City Council. For services to Children and Families.

Mrs Hazel Joyce Haas, of West Yorkshire, for services to Wounded and Injured Service Personnel and the RNLI.

Alan Howard Jerome, of Addingham, Life president, Bradford Grammar School and lately vice Chair of Corporation, Bradford College. For services to Education.

Canon Yaqub Masih, of Huddersfield, for services to Community Cohesion and Inter-faith Relations in West Yorkshire.

Alexander James McWhirter, of Leeds, Chief executive, Finance Yorkshire. For services to Business and the Economy in Yorkshire.

Mohammed Akhlak Rauf, of Bradford, Manager, Meri Yaadain (My Memories) Dementia Team, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. For services to People with Dementia and their Carers.

Dr Adam Tasker, of Bradford, Disability Support Worker, University of Bradford, for services to Higher Education and Access to Sport.

Dawn Whiteley, of Holmfirth, Chief executive, National Enterprise Network. For services to Business Support and Enterprise.

Ann Withers, of Pontefract, Member, Independent Monitoring Board, HM Prison Wakefield for voluntary services to HM Prison Service.

Stephen John Wood, of Leeds, RNLI Fundraiser, West Yorkshire Business Branch for services to Maritime Safety.


David Bentley, of Bradford, for services to Young People in West Yorkshire through the Scouting Movement.

John Nichol Daker, of Huddersfield, for services to the community in Huddersfield.

Kevin Metcalfe, of Bradford, Operations manager, Joint Activities and Motor Education Service for services to Education.

Andrew Maurice Peddle, of Wakefield, for charitable services to Homeless People and to Victims of Human Trafficking through the Salvation Army.

Elaine Amelia Rathmell, of Bradford, for services to the community in West Yorkshire.

Peter Smith, of Leeds, volunteer, West Yorkshire Police for services to Community Safety in Rothwell, Leeds.

Raymond Spencer, of Wakefield, for voluntary services to the MS Society and Kingsland School Wakefield.

Keith William Sykes, of Hudderfield, for services to Young People through the Scout Association and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.