Wigan gains five honours in 2011 list

Melanie Bryan, of WhyNotChange, winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award
Melanie Bryan, of WhyNotChange, winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award

FIVE Wiganers have been recognised for their services to the borough and beyond in the New Years honours list.

Melanie Bryan, 48, of Brock Mill Lane, Wigan, has been awarded an OBE for services to social enterprise and women’s enterprise in the North West.

She set up Why Not Change, in 2009 which offers consultancy support to communities, charities, social enterprises and small businesses to develop their skills.

Earlier this year she won David Cameron’s Big Society Award.

Melanie said: “Hopefully this will open more doors for us and make it easier for more businesses to get on board.

“This is a big thank you for everyone who has worked with us.”

Cath Hurst, principal of Wigan and Leigh College, was honoured with an OBE for services to further education.

She said: “I feel very honoured and privileged to be considered for the award.

“I am really proud to be part of Wigan and Leigh College’s success and I feel it is a reflection of the commitment of the staff and governors at the college.”

Leigh resident Joanne Lonsdale-Frith, partnership manager for Tesco, was recognised for services to disadvantaged people in Greater Manchester, by training the long-term unemployed.

She said: “It is a real surprise to receive this wonderful honour.

“I am so touched that the work I have been doing has been recognised. I am privileged that I have a job which helps people who often really struggle back into work.”

Founder of Derian House, Margaret Vinten, has been given an MBE for her work with the charity which supports terminally ill children across the borough.

Skelmersdale resident Dr Ian Birnbaum was awarded an OBE for services to local government in his former role as strategic director for Children, Young People and Learning Services in the London borough of Sutton.