Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Scout veteran and Olympians among Hampshire honours

Carolyn Darbyshire
Image caption Carolyn Darbyshire spent 44 years as a nurse at hospitals in Hampshire

A scout leader, a domestic abuse campaigner and Olympic stars are among people in Hampshire to be recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

The district commissioner in Chandlers Ford, Carolyn Darbyshire has devoted more than 30 years to the scouts.

The 66-year-old who also spent 44 years as a nurse, is appointed MBE along with Olympic gold medalists cyclist Dani King and showjumper Peter Charles.

Steve Connor is made an OBE for his work combating domestic violence.

Mr Connor, who lives in Alton, founded the National Centre for Domestic Violence in Guildford.

Professor David Payne is knighted for his work at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre.

Sailing star Ben Ainslie, who lives in Lymington, is also knighted while fellow Olympic winners Miss King, from Hamble, and Mr Charles, from the village of Bentworth, are also recognised.

Miss King told BBC News: "It's absolutely incredible, it's topped off the most amazing year, I wasn't expecting it at all.

'Meeting Queen'

"I was in Australia when my parents told me a couple of weeks ago so it was easier keeping it a secret.

"It will be amazing meeting the Queen again."

Paralympian Helena Lucas is also appointed MBE after winning sailing gold.

Image caption Dani King (left) won gold in the team pursuit along with Laura Trott (centre) and Jo Rowsell

Away from sporting achievements, Mrs Darbyshire was honoured for her role in the scout movement where she is now responsible for more than 600 children.

She said: "I found out about two or three weeks ago. It's been something I've had to hold to myself for quite a while.

"To think that I've been given this award for doing something I have loved every minute of is amazing."

She got involved as a volunteer in the movement when her son became a cub scout and she was asked to help children complete their first aid badge.

"It's the involvement with young people I do it for. We help them become responsible citizens," she said.

"Scouting increases their potential and what they can do in life."

Mrs Darbyshire retired from nursing in 2009 on health grounds and now works part-time at a local GP surgery.

Others honoured in Hampshire included Liphook's Neil Couling who is made an CBE for public service, while Michael Wells, chair of Lochs and Glens Holidays, is appointed an OBE for services to the tourism industry and his charity work.

Hampshire police inspector Julie Fry and Richard Owen from the force's Special Constabulary are both appointed MBE for services to policing.

Retained Isle of Wight firefighter Neil Cole and Jacqueline Rowley, from Eastleigh Friends of People with a Learning Disability, receive the British Empire Medal for work in their fields.