School principal Kathryn Margaret Rudd among Queen's New Year Honours

A principal of a specialist college in Cheltenham has been appointed OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Kathryn Margaret Rudd, from National Star College, has been honoured for services to further education for young adults with learning difficulties.

Miss Rudd, who has been at the college for 10 years, became principal in 2010.

In 2012, Ofsted inspectors rated the college, which has 20 16 to 18-year olds and 125 aged 19-plus, as "outstanding".

'Real high point'

In other awards, Christopher Philip Evans, founder of the Butterfly Garden, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to young people with special needs.

Men in banana suits Chris Evans (right) raising awareness for the Butterfly Garden

The garden offers children and students with learning difficulties a place to learn gardening and land skills.

Mr Evans said it was "thrilling" news and a "real high point" of the year.

"We've had a very busy and good year but to get to the end of it and have a celebration like this is very special," he said.

"So I'm thrilled and I know everybody else will be too."

Also among those to be awarded a British Empire Medal was Michael John Houghton for services to the fire and rescue service in Tetbury.

Mr Houghton, who has recently retired, joined the service as a junior fireman at the age of 16 in 1964.

"My father was a retained firefighter in Tetbury so I grew up with the fire service and I was fortunate to be able to do it," he said.

"But I was extremely honoured, it was a shock - I didn't expect it but I'm very, very honoured."

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