A veteran charity stalwart, headteacher and inclusion campaigner recognized in Queen’s Honors

High-profile figures who have made a difference on Teesside are among those recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.

Steven Regan, 61, from Piercebridge, near Darlington, has been awarded the British Empire Medal, for his work in setting up the Armed Forces Bikers, which supports former servicemen making their way into civilian life .

Kate Thompson, 48, was awarded the MBE for her services to social care, including setting up a vital partnership with Catcote Academy in Hartlepool.

Martyn Oliver is chief executive of the Outwood family, which sponsors 40 schools in the north of England, including a number in Teesside. He was knighted for his services to education.

Julie Shield, who is director of Abbeyvale Care Center in Hartlepool, received a nod for her services to social care nursing.

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Kate Thompson, Supplementary Care Services Manager at Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, is a driving force for inclusivity, supporting over 600 vulnerable people in the North East. She was instrumental in setting up a partnership with Catcote Academy to provide opportunities for students with learning difficulties. This program provides students with real-world work experience in a variety of fields.

Although she lives in Northumberland, Kate, who is based at Hartfields Residential Village in Hartlepool, has isolated herself from her own family during the pandemic to keep residents safe.



Kate Thompson who received an MBE for social care services.

Kate, who in her spare time is a trustee of Hartlepool Dementia Friends, said: “I am honored to have been nominated for this honor and to share this recognition with my incredible colleagues who have worked tirelessly to keep communities safe across the country. past two years without sacrificing the things that made life good in the first place.

“I would also like to thank all of our residents who have done so much to keep morale high within my teams and among their neighbors during the various waves of the pandemic.”

Paul Kissack, Chief Executive of Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, said: “Kate has been a driving force for social justice building inclusive communities for over 20 years, with a particular focus on people with special educational needs and the dementia, in addition to being a strong champion of LGBT.

“Since the start of the pandemic, Kate has once again demonstrated her values-based leadership and dedication to others – supporting the staff, residents and tenants of Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust through difficult times. Kate is an inspiration, and I am delighted that her tireless dedication has been recognized in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours.”

Steven set up the Armed Forces Bikers Veterans Charity in 2012 and since then has raised around £640,000 for struggling ex-servicemen and their dependants.



Steven 'Rocky' Regan who received a BEM, British Empire Medal, in Queen's Birthday Honours.
Steven ‘Rocky’ Regan who received a BEM, British Empire Medal, in Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The AFB offers an Internet-based veterans forum that seeks to connect with as many serving personnel and veterans as possible. They aim to give members and supporters purpose through a shared friendship and support mechanism with the goal of helping others help themselves.

Grants from the charity have helped in a variety of ways, including rent deposits, training courses, furniture and laptops to help people find jobs. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the AFB reached out to hundreds of ex-servicemen who felt isolated and alone and following the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the AFB continues to offer a range of support .

Steven donates at least 16 hours of his time to the charity each week and has held a number of different roles including Chairman and Chief Executive.

The nomination said: “Hundreds of the charity’s members and their families have a ‘home’ within the AFB community, helping them cope with the legacy of sometimes traumatic service and the difficulties of transition to a civilian world, which would not have been possible without him.”

Steven said: “I was absolutely shocked when I heard about BEM because praise is not what I want. But I was also happy because it’s recognition for the whole team. I certainly didn’t expect that.”

Another name on the honors list is the CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, who was nominated for his services to education.



Martyn Oliver, Managing Director of Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Martyn Oliver, chief executive of the Outwood family, which sponsors 40 schools in the north of England, including a number in Teesside, has been honored with a knighthood for his dedication to improving education of thousands of children.

Sir Martyn Oliver said: “I am delighted to have been recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, it is a great recognition of all that we have achieved in Outwood and in the communities we proudly serve.

“While I am truly honored to receive this most prestigious award, it has been an honor for me to serve so many children and raise the standard of their education by working alongside some of the most dedicated and committed as you could wish for. It’s a tribute to everyone at Outwood.

David Earnshaw CBE, Chairman of Outwood, said: “We are very proud of Martyn and his recognition at the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours. He always demonstrates leadership by both precept and example: every day he is dedicated to upholding the best educational principles, which all members of the Outwood family follow, as he does at all times.

“He is an exceptional asset to the Outwood family as he works diligently to find ways to improve the academic success of our young people. He is totally committed to the goal of transforming the lives of our students for the better. Congratulations, Mr. Martyn.

Julie Shield received an OBE for her services as a social care nurse for Hartlepool. Julie is the director of Abbeyvale Care Center in Laidler Close, which provides residential care for people with learning and physical disabilities, as well as those with other conditions such as autism.

Julie ran the care center for over 12 years and has previously won Manager of the Year and Pandemic Star of the Year awards at the National Care Group’s annual awards.

Nicholas Clark. The UMi Chief Executive and Chairman of the Governors of Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School has been awarded the OBE for his service to business and social enterprise in the North East of England.

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