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Manicurist Leighton is humbled by his Queen's Birthday Honour
Updated 11:22pm Friday 13th June 2014 in News
A manicurist to the stars, a cricketing ambassador, a chartered accountant and a mum-of-three are among the diverse collection of 11 Bradford recipients in the Queen's Birthday Honours this year.
Leighton Denny, who was brought up in East Bierley and went to Tong School gets his MBE for his contribution and success in industry - his star-studded client list includes Kate Moss, Penelope Cruz and Adele.
Mr Denny, who has built his own empire of more than 800 appointed manicure salons worldwide, said: "It was on my 40th birthday when I received the e-mail from the Cabinet Office; and I thought someone was pulling my leg! I am truly honoured and humbled to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen.”
Bradford solicitor and mum-of-three Sarah Khan Bashir, 45, of Nab Lane, Shipley, said news of her MBE for services to the local community came as a surprise because she thought she was "far too young for such an honour".
Mrs Bashir has been a prime mover in kick-starting MOSAIC - The Prince of Wales' mentoring initiative - supporting young people, particularly those from a Muslim background.
She has personally mentored girls and their mothers at primary schools in Bradford and Keighley and as a regional chairman oversees MOSAIC's work in more than 40 schools and in four prisons.
She has also served as a governor at Cottingley Primary School Bradford,has been a member of the West Yorkshire Police Bradford South Independent Advisory Group and is currently a Board member of Bradford Youth Development Partnership.
"I'm still in a bit of shock, I'm far too young for such an honour. I just go about my day doing a bit of good where I can. It's just me."
Last week Mrs Bashir also picked up a Good Of All human rights award in London backed by Eleanor Roosevelt, she said: "It's been quite a week!"
A cricketing ambassador has also been recognised in the honours list with a BEM for his voluntary services to youth cricket.
Gordon Simms Cooper, 76, of Milford Grove, Gomersal, has spent the last 40 years promoting the support and encouraging new players as part of the Heavy Woollen District Junior Cricket League (HWDJCL).
He was appointed its head coach at a time when it ran only one cricket league at U18 but under his direction more leagues were established and in 2003, leagues were introduced girls too. He is now its Honorary Public Relations Officer, Honorary Fixture Secretary, President and Life Vice-President of the (HWDJCL) which has 34 clubs and 125 teams in it and has become the most successful junior league in Yorkshire.
He said: "In all those years I've seen hundreds of young players pass through the league. Some have even retired from the game so now I meet up with them watching - or at the bar!"
Bradford police officer PC Yasvender Rehill, has been awarded the BEM for his services to policing and community engagement in Bradford.
Last year he was named as one of West Yorkshire Police's street level heroes picking up the Diversity in Action Award for his outstanding ability to develop strong and trusted relationships within communities.
In 2011 he received a Divisional Commanders' award and in 2009 he was recognised by the Sikh community for his help - his community has included helping run boxing sessions with local youths.
Abu Zafar, founder and owner of Canal Road-based Orient Press, one of the UK's leading card manufacturers, has also got mention in the honours receiving a BEM.
Mr Zafar, who lives with his wife in Nab Wood and has two children and five grandchildren, says the honour was for his invention of a foil-printing machine 15 years ago which he is now making in Bradford and sending all over the world to such countries as in the Arab states, Canada and Australia.
"I'm very much delighted with the news from Buckingham Palace. I'm so excited and thankful."
Chartered accountant Alan Wintersgill, 63, of Gilstead also receives a BEM for his services to charity and the local community.
He joined Bingley Rotary Club in 1992 and said he took its motto "Service Above Self" to heart - as well as his rotary work he set up a development board for Bradford's Marie Curie Hospice in 2008 raising £500,000 so far, he is finance director and a trustee of Bingley Show and is chairman of governors at both Bingley Grammar and Woodhouse Grove schools.
Other recipients of awards include North Yorkshire County Council's champion for older people, Councillor Shelagh Marshall, of Embsay, Skipton, who gets an OBE for services to the elderly, she said: “I am very, very pleased and very humbled. I’m hoping this will help my voice to be heard even more in speaking up for older people. They are an inspiration.”
Andrea Bryden, who is senior manager of Personal Tax Operations at Bradford HM Revenue and Customs, gets an OBE too for her work promoting diversity and equality and other BEMs also go to Jack Greenwood, a volunteer with Denholme Cricket Club, for his services to the sport in West Yorkshire, to Simon Jarrold, of Shipley, for his charity work in Leeds and also to British Telecom field co-ordinator Alan Jowett from Bradford for his services to Broadband service in Scotland and North-East England.
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