Beds, Herts & Bucks

Queen's Birthday Honours: Riding centre founder Jean Bedford's MBE

Riders at the BDHRA in Willington Image copyright BDHRA
Image caption Jean Bedford founded the Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association in 1961

A volunteer who founded a riding centre for the disabled in Bedfordshire is among those to be recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Jean Bedford, 73, from the Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association (BDHRA), has been appointed MBE for services to people with disabilities.

She founded BDHRA in 1961 after riding helped her recover from a childhood road accident.

"I'm so delighted the charity has got recognition," she said.

Both Mrs Bedford's legs were "smashed" in a road accident in 1948. She spent months in hospital and it was thought she would not walk again.

She said a neighbour, Miriam Godber, persuaded her parents that letting her ride a horse would strengthen her legs and 18 months later she was out of callipers.

The pair, with the support of local doctors, started the Willington centre with four children. Up to 100 children and adults a week now learn equine skills there.

Mrs Bedford, who oversees the day-to-day management, said she was "absolutely amazed" she had been honoured.

"I don't think I've come down to earth yet," she said.

Image caption Tina Hughes has campaigned for level crossing safety improvements following the death of her daughter Olivia at Elsenham in Essex in 2005

Tina Hughes, who has campaigned for better safety on the railways after her daughter, Olivia, was killed on a level crossing is appointed an MBE for services to railway safety.

She said: "I know this award is for me and I am so delighted to have been given it but really I'm accepting it on behalf of the huge team of people behind me who are so dedicated to making changes and level crossings safer across the country. Very, very proud."

The Birthday Honours also sees recognition for emergency service workers with Alison Roome-Gifford, assistant chief constable of Hertfordshire Constabulary awarded the Queen's Police Medal.

The Queen's Fire Service Medal has been awarded to the chief fire officer of Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue, Mark Stewart Jones.

Hertfordshire's Professor David Fish, a consultant neurologist at University College London's Academic Health Sciences Centre receives a knighthood for services to the NHS.

Other people living in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire to be given awards include director of Hertfordshire Social Services, Sarah Jane Pickup who is made an MBE for services to social care.

The retiring chief executive of Milton Keynes Council, David Hill, from Ashford in Kent, is appointed OBE for services to local government.

Suzanne Lear, from Buckinghamshire, is made MBE for voluntary services to medical research.

She began the Lisa Lear Fund for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma & Hodgkin's Disease Research when her daughter, who died in 1979, was diagnosed with the disease.

Barry Welck, from Radlett in Hertfordshire, who founded the Langdon Foundation to support Jewish people with learning disabilities to lead independent lives, has been made MBE.

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