New Year Honours: Carol Ann Duffy made a dame

Carol Ann Duffy Image copyright Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
Image caption Dame Carol Ann Duffy said she was "delighted" by the honour

The first female poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has been made a dame in the New Year Honours list.

The professor at Manchester Metropolitan University said she was "delighted" by the honour.

Shabana Abasi, head of the Greater Manchester arm of Cafcass, which provides support in family court cases, has been appointed MBE.

Ms Abasi, from Cheadle, said her honour was an "absolute delight" and a "massive surprise".

The 49-year-old has also raised awareness of child abduction cases in which fathers remove their children from the UK on Pakistani passports.

She said: "This is not a personal honour, this is a fantastic recognition for social work profession."

Dame Carol Ann Duffy's honour for services to poetry follows her being made an OBE in 1995 and a CBE in 2005.

The professor of contemporary poetry and creative director at the Manchester Writing School at the Manchester Metropolitan University, said: "I am delighted that the long tradition of the Laureateship and poetry in general are part of these celebrations.

"We have many wonderful poets in this country and it is a privilege to represent them."

Image caption Arthur John Biggs said he was "gobsmacked"

Arthur John Biggs, 66, from Blackley, has received a British Empire Medal for almost 50 years of work with Whitemoss Youth Club and the north Manchester community.

Although "gobsmacked" he said he was "so pleased" to accept the award.

Image caption Joyce Wiggins started as a guide leader in 1964

Joyce Wiggins from Horwich becomes an MBE for more than 50 years of "exemplary commitment" to girl guiding.

The 72-year-old has reinstated guide units in Greenbarn and Scot Lane that had closed because of lack of guiders and has raised thousands of pounds for charities.

Mrs Wiggins said she had "thoroughly enjoyed every minute" of guiding and an honour was the "last thing" on her mind.

Other recipients in Greater Manchester and Cheshire include:


  • Christopher Brinsmead, from Nether Alderley, Cheshire, for services to UK life sciences
  • Catherine Marie Garside, head teacher of St Ambrose Barlow Roman Catholic High School, Swinton, Salford, for services to education


  • Rebecca Catherine Bryant, head of crime and disorder directorate at Manchester City Council, for services to the community and Victim Support in Manchester
  • Peter John Robert Dahlstrom, head of Hope Special School, Wigan, for services to education.


  • The chair of the Stockport Canal Boat Trust James Dunlop, 76, from Whaley Bridge, for services to the trust and the community in Disley, Cheshire.


  • Barbara Elizabeth Roberts, from Manchester, who set up Withington Hedgehog Care Trust
  • Hazel Bradbury for voluntary and charitable services to the community in Bolton

Queen's Fire Service Medal

  • James Anthony Owen, deputy fire officer for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

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