King’s Honours list recognises the exceptional contributions of Loughborough alumni

A trio of headshot images of Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Jane Boardman, and Maddie Hinch

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Jane Boardman, and Maddie Hinch

In the latest King’s New Year Honours list, a group of alumni have been awarded for achievements and contributions across areas including sports, fashion and beauty, science, and in the public sector and related areas.

Awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 2017, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a renowned space scientist, has been made a DBE in the honours list. She is recognised with this Damehood for services to Science Education and to Diversity. She is the founder of Science Innovation Ltd and her work has included educating young people in the UK and around the world, exciting them about space and science. You may have also seen her as the co-host of the BBC programme, The Sky at Night, or on other television programmes such as Mini Stargazing or Sky’s quiz show, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo. As well as immersing herself in television and radio, Maggie has spent much of her career making novel, bespoke instrumentation ranging from handheld landmine detectors to an optical subsystem for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Receiving an OBE for voluntary services to Fashion and Beauty is alumna Jane Boardman. Jane is the CEO of M&C Saatchi Talk and is the Founding Chair of the British Beauty Council. She has been dedicated to raising the profile of the fashion and beauty industries throughout her career and has been increasing accessibility in the industries through pro-bono work. Following involvement with the British Fashion Council, she founded the British Beauty Council in 2018. Its formative years saw the covid-19 pandemic hit, and much of Jane’s work with the Council was instrumental in ensuring that people could return safely to shops, salons and barbers. Jane has played a huge role in tackling perceptions and showcasing the value of the two industries and their impact on the UK economy. In her role as CEO of M&C Saatchi Talk, Jane is a communications strategist and PR entrepreneur. She graduated from Loughborough with a degree in Politics in 1982.

Alumna Dr Samantha Callan is the Director and Co-Founder of The Family Hubs Network Ltd. She is recognised with an OBE for services to Victims of Domestic Abuse. Samantha has worked to support families and victims of domestic abuse for two decades. She was commissioned by the Government to review the Child Maintenance Service’s (CMS) response to allegations of domestic abuse following her earlier work at the Centre for Social Justice. She has produced reports such as her ‘Independent Review of the CMS response to Domestic Abuse’ which encourages early intervention, and she has long championed local authorities to provide family centres. Samantha is also a Parliamentary Advisor to Lord Farmer. She gained her PhD in Social Sciences from Loughborough in 2005.

Recently inducted into our Loughborough Sport Hall of Fame, alumna Maddie Hinch is awarded an OBE for services to Hockey. Following her retirement from the international game last year, the Olympic gold-medal-winning goalkeeper is uplifted from MBE. Maddie has over 180 caps for England and GB Hockey and during her international career made many impressive saves – including penalties at the Olympics – that helped her, and her teammates take home Olympic Gold and Bronze medals at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, respectively. Maddie has been a firm fan-favourite for many years and was voted World’s Best Female Goalkeeper on three occasions. She graduated with a degree in Sports Science in 2013 and the University recognised her with an Honorary Doctorate in 2018.

Adding to her incredible array of achievements, Lioness Mary Earps receives an MBE for services to Association Football. As goalkeeper for England, Mary played every minute of all six games when the Lionesses won the UEFA Women’s European Championships in 2022. She was named the best goalkeeper at the World Cup last year and awarded the Golden Glove accolade. She was also crowned The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper 2022 at The Best FIFA Football Awards, and made history at the Ballon D’or awards by finishing fifth in the Feminin Award, the highest ever ranking for a goalkeeper. Domestically, she plays in the Women’s Super League for Manchester United, where she has made more than 80 appearances. The recently crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University in December 2023. She graduated from Loughborough in 2016 with a degree in Information Management and Business Studies.

Also awarded an MBE is alumnus Keith Sorrell, for services to Education. His career has been dedicated to teaching. When he retired in 2021, he had spent six years as CEO of the Windsor Academy Trust and 16 years as the headteacher of Windsor High School and Sixth Form. As a headteacher, Keith had a vision to provide high-quality sixth form education to young people in Halesowen, and in 2010, his vision was realised when the Windsor High School sixth form was opened – a school he had already guided to ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted status in 2008. The school became one of the first converter academies in 2011, and it led to the formation of the Windsor Academy Trust. He became its CEO in 2015. Keith has also worked with the Department for Education as a Secondary Consultant and sat on the School Workforce Group. He’s also spent time as an international hockey coach! He graduated from Loughborough in 1977 with a BEd degree in Physical Education.

Another MBE is awarded to Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams for services to Policing. Gareth has dedicated his career to helping vulnerable children escape exploitation. He joined the British Transport Police in 1992 and in his 30-year career, Gareth has worked in a range of roles including covert policing and homicide and domestic abuse investigations. In 2019 he successfully bid for funding to create the first-ever British Transport Police (BTP) County Lines Taskforce, which he subsequently led. The BTP Taskforce has helped protect vulnerable people and brought numerous offenders to justice. Over 2,000 arrests and more than 1,600 drug seizures have been made since the inception of the Taskforce, as well as cash seizures, removal of weapons and more. Gareth’s work has also involved introducing and supporting safeguarding initiatives such as the “Don’t Take the Bait” social media campaign aimed at young teenagers. Gareth has a degree in Modern European Studies (1991) from Loughborough.

Congratulations to all of our King’s Honours recipients.

If you have been named in the Honours list, or if you have other news to share, please get in touch to let us know.