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Aberfan charity advisor Geraint Davies made CBE in New Year Honours

image captionCharity supporter Geraint Davies, Paralympian Mark Colbourne and rugby great JJ Williams are all honoured

A businessman who has spent decades helping victims of the Aberfan disaster and a Cardiff professor who pioneered the use of maggots in medicine are made CBEs in the New Year honours.

Geraint Davies, a chartered accountant by profession, and Prof Keith Harding receive the accolade.

Paralympians Mark Colbourne and Aled Sion Davies both receive MBEs alongside Wales rugby great JJ Williams.

They are among many from across south east Wales honoured.

Geraint Davies, who is 58 and from Penarth, described being awarded the CBE as a "humbling experience."

The senior partner with business advisory specialists Grant Thornton is honoured for his voluntary work for charitable services in Wales.

'Incredibly fortunate'

That work included an "especially close" relationship with the south Wales valleys community of Aberfan, which lost 116 children and 28 adults in the 1966 disaster.

Mr Davies has dedicated more than 32 years as chief advisor to the Aberfan Disaster Fund. He has also played a leading role in supporting the arts in Wales and is chairman of Music Theatre Wales.

He said: "I feel deeply proud and incredibly fortunate to have been recognised in the New Years Honours list - and also very privileged to be in the company of the so many exceptional people from Wales who have honoured in this way in the past."

Joining him as a CBE is Prof Keith Harding, director of the Wound Healing Research Unit and of the Time Institute at Cardiff University.

Prof Harding - who has pioneered the use of maggots in medicine - is honoured for services to medicine and healthcare.

Emergency planning

Among those recognised with OBEs in south east Wales are Prof Judith Hall, professor of intensive care and pain medicine at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff who also founded the charity Mothers of Africa, and a former professor of medicine at Cardiff, John Williams, for services to kidney patients.

media captionCyclist Mark Colbourne, from Tredegar, has been awarded an MBE

The former Liberal Democrat leader of Cardiff council Rodney Berman and Mervyn Nott, current Labour leader of Bridgend council, also both receive OBEs.

There is an OBE for Dr Wyn Price, of Pontycymmer, Bridgend, the head of the Welsh government's civil emergency planning.

And South Wales Police chief constable Peter Vaughan has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM).

Honours for golden Paralympians from London 2012 go to both cyclist Mark Colbourne, who took up the sport after breaking his back in a paragliding accident in 2009, and discus thrower Aled Sion Davies, who both excelled for Wales at the summer games.

Colbourne, 43, from Tredegar, claimed Wales' first gold in the London Paralympics while Davies, from Bridgend, won a gold and a bronze medal.

They receive MBEs alongside 1970s Wales and British Lions rugby legend JJ Williams.

image captionVolunteer Carole Hillman is made a BEM for her many years of charity work

A number of people are honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) in south east Wales.

Among them is Carole Hillman, 64, from Nantyglo, Blaenau Gwent, who is recognised for her voluntary service to St John Ambulance and the local community.

Mrs Hillman is a member of the Blaenau Gwent St John Council and has served for the last nine years helping to raise money to fund four ambulances costing about £200,000.

She was also a founder member of the Nantyglo Gymnastics Club which she has served for 27 years, while also acting as a regional judge for the sport.

"I'm flabbergasted," said Mrs Hillman, referring to her honour. "I'm quite astounded."

She said she would like to thank whoever it was who nominated her for the honour, because she said she had no idea who it was.

media captionEileen Younghusband was shocked to be awarded a British Empire Medal for services to lifelong learning

"I'd really like to thank all the people who have helped me with the volunteering, but who have not been recognised themselves," she said.

Former World War II codebreaker Eileen Younghusband also received the BEM for services to lifelong learning.

The 91-year-old from Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan is a passionate supporter of adult education after gaining a degree at the age of 87.

She campaigned to keep lifelong learning courses open at Cardiff University after learning they were under threat, and said she was surprised to be nominated by staff at the centre.

Mrs Younghusband said it was a shock but that she was honoured to receive the medal during "such a special year" when the Olympics and Queen's Diamond Jubilee had been celebrated.

More on this story

  • Wales honours: Dave Brailsford, Jade Jones and Ellie Simmonds included