PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
THE HONOURS SYSTEM:
ADAPTING FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS
For the last 100 years, the Honours System has recognised the great and the good across the country. Twice a year, just over 2,000 people, out of a population of over 66 million, receive an honour for the contribution they have made to their community, county or country.
Given the unprecedented scale of the response to the coronavirus outbreak in recent months, there are now more people than ever going above and beyond to serve their community. It is up to all of us to ensure that their efforts do not go unnoticed.
Prosper spoke to Head of Diversity and Outreach for the Honours and Appointments at the Cabinet Office, Sophie Kimber, to hear how the system is adapting in these unprecedented times.
“As we’ve seen with the Black Country Business Heroes campaign, it’s important we take the time to celebrate those individuals who are going above and beyond for their communities”, said Sophie.
The Birthday Honours List, due to be published in June, will be postponed until the autumn. “This will allow us to fully recognise those involved in the Covid-19 effort and so if you know someone who is making an extraordinary contribution then please, give them the gift money can’t buy and nominate them for an honour”, Sophie added.
The Honours System depends on nominations from the public. “Without someone taking the time to write a nomination for an amazing individual, we may never get to hear about them”, she said.
Traditionally, more nominations come from and for people living in London and the South East.
In the New Year Honours List 2020, released last December, 37.9% of all awards went to people living in these areas, compared to 26.6% of the population.
The West Midlands received 5.4% of awards, from a population of 8.9% of the UK. This is symptomatic of regions outside the capital and home counties.
“This public health emergency has affected every part of the UK, so we want to make sure that that is reflected in forthcoming honours lists. That means encouraging more people in the West Midlands to nominate someone deserving”, added Sophie.
One West Midlands businessman, practising Sikh and former Black Country Chamber President, Ninder Johal, who became become a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands in 2019 told Prosper, “‘As a region, we have an industrial heritage and an enterprising culture that we have managed to continue through new innovative and cutting-edge businesses which employ thousands, and which are led by energetic and talented entrepreneurs.
“Our third sector does so much for their local community generating services that the market is not able to supply often led by so many unsung heroes.
“As a region, we are famed for our community cohesion despite many challenges and find that many are willing to use their spare time to ensure that cohesion is maintained irrespective of religion, colour or creed.
“So, look around you – you will all know those individuals and if we are to inspire the next generation, let's ensure that those who work selflessly for their community are recognised by their peers.”
It’s easy to make a nomination
For advice on putting someone special forward for an Honour, people living in the West Midlands can contact their dedicated Honours Coordinator:
Telephone: 07734 957717
You can also nominate at www.gov.uk/honours