Two of Wales' leading scientists have picked up a knighthood and a damehood in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
Dr Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales, has been made a knight while Dr Jenny Harries, the c hief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, is now a dame.
Dr Harries, from Monmouthshire, and Lancashire-born Dr Atherton, who lives in Cardiff, have both played key roles in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are among 50 people with links to Wales who have received honours in the latest list, from a Cardiff TikTok star taking on anti-vaxxers to an inspirational Swansea vicar and a "community champion" Asda worker from Pwllheli.
Vicar Rev Steve Bunting was made an MBE after raising £1.4 million to redevelop St Thomas’ Church in Swansea’s Eastside. The church is now home to a not-for-profit café and a wedding reception venue called the Spire where all proceeds go back into the community. It hosts the Baby Basics project which supports new mums, as well as a food bank.
Rev Steve said: “At first I didn’t really understand it because I didn’t know that anything like that was going on. I felt emotional and that they’d made a mistake. There are a lot of people who do a lot more than I do and do it without any kind of recognition, including people who volunteer for us. I’m receiving this on behalf of all of them.
"I still haven't told anyone yet. I'm so excited to tell my family and friends tonight, especially my children. And of course I'll get to tell the church on Sunday and celebrate with them, although if they've read this they'll already know."
Asda employee Jo Scott, from Pwllheli, was "absolutely stunned" to receive a BEM for her community work.
She said: "My dog Tess got hold of the letter as soon as it dropped through the letterbox so I had to get it off her. I saw that it was marked 'On Her Majesty's Service' and thought, 'It can't be a speeding ticket – maybe I've been called up for jury service.'
"When I opened it and saw it was from the Cabinet Office and that I'd been nominated for the British Empire Medal I was gobsmacked. I was looking at the letter and just couldn't believe my eyes."
Mrs Scott has worked at the supermarket in north Wales since it opened 15 years ago. Throughout the pandemic she has been a Covid safety marshal, greeting customers at the door, handing out PPE and making sure they stay safe. She even started to entertain queuing shoppers by dancing and singing.
She has been awarded more than £8,600 in grants and about £4,500 worth of essential products to local groups in need, as well as securing a donation of laptops to help with home schooling during the pandemic. Jo, who is English, has also been learning to speak Welsh to connect better with local customers.
Alison Williams has been made an MBE for her services to Swansea's Craigfelen Primary School and the local community. She has been headteacher at the school for 11 years, leading it to an 'excellent' Estyn rating in 2018, which led to her being asked to write two best practice guides.
Ms Williams puts enterprise education at the heart of the school curriculum. She has helped fund a community park, allotment, garden, skate ramp and holiday clubs, while running a community café and bank for locals.
She said: "I see the children as a second family. I am so proud of them and want to make sure they have the tools to succeed. I am honestly so honoured that people think what I have done and will continue to do is worth this level of recognition but honestly, I don't feel I have done anything out of the ordinary."
Dr Bnar Talabani from Cardiff was "over the moon" to be made an MBE after using TikTok to help dispel myths around Covid vaccines among ethnic minority groups.
The doctor arrived in the UK as a child refugee after fleeing Iraq with her family in 1998. Now she is a leading scientist specialising in kidney and transplant medicine.
“To say it was unexpected is an understatement,” she said. “It is lovely to have the work that I’ve been doing be recognised but, at the same time, I’m working with so many people who have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic. I am very grateful for the award, but it is very much a team effort."
A member of the Muslim Doctors Cymru Group and the Wales Medical Covid-19 response group, she has worked hard to promote health in Muslim and ethnic minority communities by spelling out the facts about vaccines.
“It was so important to start the conversation with people and give them a safe space to share their concerns for them to be addressed by people who understood the science and could debunk the myths.”
Michael McEvoy, of Prestatyn, has been made an OBE. He was a regular on TV screens from the sixties to the eighties, reporting on events in north and mid-Wales.
The 87-year-old said: "I am, of course, both pleased and honoured to be awarded an OBE – an unexpected upgrade to the MBE I received in the 2008 New Year Honours. I have no hesitation in again dedicating this award to my family, especially my wife Barbara, son Jonathan and daughter Rebecca, without whose unwavering support and unflagging affection, I could never have experienced the fulfilling life I have had."
His son Jonathan, a sportswriter, added: "I grew up to the sound of my father’s typewriter clattering away as I tried to sleep and remember as a young boy squeezing into phone boxes with him as he reversed the charges and phoned in his copy.
"But while I expect most people will know my father as a hard-working freelance journalist, and one of the pioneers of television who took the medium from its black-and-white infancy into the colour age, his life runs much wider and deeper. He held prominent roles in politics, sport and the arts across more than half a century of public service, almost entirely unpaid."
Disability activist Joshua Reeves from Cardiff said it was a "real privilege” to be given a BEM. The 24-year-old is the campaigns support officer at Leonard Cheshire, a charity supporting thousands of disabled people.
Living with cerebral palsy, he works hard to put disability rights at the heart of governments’ agendas and improve the lives of disabled people. He has drawn on his experience as a wheelchair user to visit schools and talk about discrimination and hate crimes. Mr Reeves launched the Don’t Call Me Special campaign in 2015 to share the message that his disability does not define him.
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“It’s been a difficult year for those with disabilities,” said Mr Reeves. “Loneliness and isolation have been especially hard to tackle, but I’m glad I have been able to help and make people aware of the situation through my work.
“Over all my campaigning years I never thought that I would receive an award like this and be honoured by Her Majesty. I’m feeling very proud. I would like to thank my friends, family and work colleagues who have been with me every step of the way during my campaigning journey.”
Laurence McBreen was made an MBE in recognition of his social work career spanning six decades in south Wales. He hopes his award will lead to further honours for social workers.
“I’m delighted,” he said. “I didn’t expect it, but I’m very pleased that it has happened. I know several people who could have easily been nominated for this award, but there hasn’t been a tradition of it in social work. They are incredibly dedicated workers in a difficult job, so it would be great if this could lead to more recognition for them.”
Alun Jenkins, councillor for Offa in Wrexham, has been given a BEM after representing the ward since 1970. He is one of the longest-serving Lib Dem councillors in Wales. Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds described him as a "stalwart public servant for Offa Ward and the whole of Wrexham".
Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan paid tribute to the eight NHS Wales workers on the list.
She said: "I want to thank every individual working within the NHS and social care sector for their continued care, commitment and dedication.
"I also want to pay tribute to Dr Frank Atherton who continues to play a vital role in tackling the ongoing pandemic and I’m pleased to see his work recognised.”
Maureen Flora Davies. For voluntary and public service in Anglesey.
Richard Alun Jenkins. Councillor, Wrexham Council. For political and public service.
Desmond Lally. For voluntary and charitable service to the community in Brecon.
Joan "Jo" Scott. Community champion, Asda. For services to the community in Pwllheli, Wales.
Linda June Alexander. For services to patient care and alternative workforce solutions in NHS Wales.
Mohammed Jakir Ahmed Jabbar. Customer services frontline manager, HMRC. For services to HMRC and to diversity and inclusion.
Joshua Reeves. Campaigns support officer at Leonard Cheshire. For services to people with disabilities.
Gerald Stanley Beaumont. For services to people with disabilities in Wales.
Maureen Powell. Councillor, Monmouthshire County Council. For political service.
Derek Edward John Warren. Warrant officer, No 1 Welsh Wing, RAF Air Cadets. For voluntary service to young adults in Wales.
Catherine Margaret Spiller. Deputy head of estates, Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Wales. For services to the Forces and to the community in Monmouth.
Ceri Jones. Lead community diabetes specialist nurse for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Dr Jennifer "Jenny" Margaret Harries OBE. Chief executive, UK Health Security Agency. For services to Health.
Dr Francis Atherton. Chief medical officer, Welsh Government. For services to Public Health.
Alan Brace. Director of finance, NHS Wales. For services to the NHS and the Covid-19 response in Wales.
Neil Moore. Leader, Vale of Glamorgan Council. For services to the community in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Janet Mary Wallsgrove. Director, HM Parc, G4S Care and Justice Services Ltd. For services to the Prison Service.
Alison Kilbane-Griffiths. Corporate customer relationship manager, DVLA. For services to transport.
Michael John Walters. Lifeboat operations manager, Loughor Inshore Lifeboat. For service to the community in Swansea.
Horace Michael McEvoy MBE. For services to the community in North Wales.
David John Smith MBE. For services to the sport of Boccia.
Aled Sion Davies MBE. For services to athletics.
Barclay John Davies. For services to public transport and to the government.
Albert Lawrence Heaney. Chief social care officer for Wales. For services to social care.
Professor Tavi Murray. Professor of glaciology, Swansea University. For services to glaciology and climate change research.
Dr Neil Rhys Wooding. For services to social justice, to equality and to the community in Wales.
Katherine Lyndsay Mavor. Chief executive, English Heritage Trust. For services to heritage.
Julian MacLeod Paul Cash. Chair, community furniture aid. For services to homeless people in Bridgend.
Rhian Louise Thomas. Head of area business centre, Crown Prosecution Service, Cymru-Wales. For services to law and order.
Lauren Louise Price. For services to boxing.
Timothy John Walkden-Williams. For services to business and the community in Prestatyn, North Wales.
Graham Winston Edwards. Chief executive, Wales and West Utilities. For services to business and to the community in Wales.
Sanjiv Vedi. Head of office of the chief social care officer for Wales. For public, charitable and voluntary service.
Dr Seema Safia Arif. For services to healthcare amongst the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community.
Dr Subramaniam Balachandran. Doctor and lead, cross-infection, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. For services to the NHS during Covid-19.
Laurence McBreen. For services to the social work sector in South Wales.
Dr Bnar Talabani. Kidney and transplant medical specialist, University of Wales immunology scientist. For services to the NHS and to the ethnic minority communities in Wales, particularly during Covid-19.
Professor Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe. For services to science, astronomy and astrobiology.
Timothy John Williams. Lately chief executive officer, Welsh Automotive Forum. For services to the automotive industry.
Reverend Steven Leo Bunting. For charitable services to the community in Swansea.
Professor Euan Jonathan Hails. For services to children and young people's Mental Health in Wales.
Alison Williams. Headteacher, Craigfelen School, Swansea. For services to education and the community in Swansea.
Ingrid Lesley Wilson. For services to community cohesion, to race equality and to global education.
Dr Edward Morgan Roberts DL. For services to medicine and to the community in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.
John Iestyn Davies. Co-founder and chair, Cyber Wales. For services to the UK Cyber Ecosystem.
Simon Norris Lee. Group chief executive, Civil Service Sports Council. For services to sport and wellbeing.
Caroline Thomas. Member, British Standards Institute Committee on Accessibility. For services to consumers.
Samia Claire Edmonds. For services to the Covid-19 response.
Calum George Jarvis. For services to swimming.
Denise Rosemary O'Leary. Founder, Purpol Marketing. For services to the construction industry and entrepreneurs in Wales and South West England.
Anne Overton. Constable, South Wales Police.
Jennifer Elizabeth Griffiths. Lately group manager, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.