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New Year’s Honours for Hackney locals

Three inspirational Hackney residents have been recognised in the New Year Honour’s List 2019.

They include Phillip Noyes, the NSPCC’s chief advisor on child protection, publisher Jessica Kingsley who specialises in books on autism and Alicia Weston who teaches vulnerable people to cook and budget.

(Phillip Noyes)

Phillip Noyes receives an OBE for his outstanding public service. The former social worker designed a national network of child protection teams that care for some of the country’s most vulnerable children. He spearheaded the NSPCC’s lobbying work and helped shape the Children’s Act 1989 (a core piece of child protection legislation).

NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless said: “Very many children’s lives have benefited as a consequence of his (Phillip’s) long-standing commitment to our fight for every childhood.”

(Jessica Kingsley)

Jessica, from Aden Grove in Stoke Newington, receives a British Empire medal for services to people with autism. She has been involved in publishing almost 800 books about autism which have helped guide parents and been empowering for those on the spectrum.

She described the intention behind her company as “to create social change” and added: “When I first started working around Asperger’s Syndrome you only ever heard of it if something terrible like a crime had happened, and I thought this is so unfair.

“Publishing is about trying to change people’s approach to how they saw people with autism.”

Her work includes Tony Attwood’s best-selling book Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, which sold over half a million copies and has been translated into 28 languages.

(Alicia Weston, pic credit Mehul Derodra)

Alicia Weston, 48, from Dalston also receives a British Empire Medal. She quit work as an investment banker and set up the non-profit organisation Bags of Taste in 2014. Since then she’s helped teach 1,500 disadvantaged people per year to cook and budget.

Born in Malaysia and raised in Indonesia, Alicia was inspired by the positive changes that can happen in developing countries. She said: “I’ve seen in my lifetime these countries develop and I’ve seen people’s lives get better. I know if you do something, things can improve.”

Bags of Taste offers dozens of recipes for meals costing just £1 a portion. Alicia described the venture as “not your typical cooking class.” She added: “We change people’s diets for good and the impacts will hopefully stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

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