INDEX, A Lifestyle Magazine which publishes two editions in East and West Kent, has drawn up its own Alternative New Year’s Honours List for ‘Outstanding Men and Women of Kent - unsung heroes who go mostly unrecognised, who excel in their diverse fields and give unconditionally’.
I feel honoured to be included in both editions along with: Tammy Beaumont, the Kent and England cricket star; and John Warnett, the Radio Kent presenter. The East Kent list also includes: Victoria Pomerey, Director, Turner Contemporary; Razia Shariff, CEO of Kent Refugee Action Network; Peter Taylor Gooby, Trustee of Canterbury Food Bank; Rosie Turner, Director, Canterbury Festival; Rt Revd Trevor Wilmott, Bishop of Dover; and posthumously, Peter Firmin, Artist and Puppet Maker. For West Kent there are: Rt Rev Simon Burton-Jones, newly appointed Bishop of Tunbridge, previously Archdeacon of Rochester Diocese; Deborah Gjeloshaj, Founder of Kitchen Opera, bringing youth opera to West Kent; Alex Green, Executive Director at the Tunbridge Wells Trinity Theatre, together with Arts community work; Richard Hughes, a drummer with pop group Keane and now human rights activist with Amnesty; and Olga Johnson, Co-Founder of Nourish Community Food Bank.
Although the commendation refers to my previous paid and voluntary work supporting admission appeals for children to all types of school, it highlights the section on this website that refers to the provision of information, advice, news and comment freely given, but subsidised to a small extent by advertising. You will find here over 200 pages of information and advice for parents on many aspects of education in Kent and Medway, although also followed by many professionals both locally and nationally. Over the past 15 years I have undertaken, and in many cases been successful, in campaigns about injustices of various types, several reaching a national audience.
Talking with the editor of 'Index' after publication, she referred to my very real independence. I do value this highly as will be confirmed by the many in authority I have challenged over the years. I believe I have always acted in and been driven by the interests of young people of Kent and Medway, but make no claim to represent anyone, being solely responsible for any views expressed.
I am privileged to be in such company.