Skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold becomes MBE

Lizzy Yarnold Winter Olympian Lizzy Yarnold, who took part in the Queen's Baton Relay this month, becomes an MBE

Winter Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold has become an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Yarnold, 25, who grew up in a farming family in West Kingsdown, near Sevenoaks, Kent, said the honour was a complete surprise.

"My hands started shaking as soon as I saw the envelope was from the Palace," she said.

"It's been hard to keep it a secret, especially from my parents."

Yarnold won the Olympic women's skeleton gold in the Sochi 2014 Games.

"Getting an MBE feels so different to the awards you achieve as an athlete because those are the ones you have been working towards day after day in training," she added.

"So many fantastic athletes from the summer Olympics have been awarded the MBE and to think winter sports are regarded with the same level of importance I think is a massive step forward."

Zandra Rhodes Zandra Rhodes, who was born in Kent and is UCA chancellor, becomes a dame

Fellow Winter Olympian, skier Charlotte Evans from Chatham, also becomes an MBE.

She was the guide for Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher at Sochi 2014.

Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who was born in Kent, becomes a dame.

The University for the Creative Arts (UCA), which has campuses in Kent and Surrey, appointed Ms Rhodes, who studied at Medway College of Arts, as its first chancellor in 2010.

Among the other Kent residents honoured are Dr Emma Pennery, from West Kingsdown, clinical director for Breast Cancer Care, who becomes a CBE.

Pamela Jones, head teacher of Ifield School, Gravesend, becomes an OBE, along with Marion Layberry, from Sevenoaks, the managing director of Safehouses Fostering Agency and David Shemmings, Professor of Social Work at the University of Kent.

Other Kent residents appointed CBE include Dr Andrew Spurr, managing director of nuclear generation for EDF Energy.

Christine Pledger, 90, from Folkestone who was one of the first fundraisers for Kent charity Pilgrims Hospices, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her work with the charity since 1977.

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