The Chorley and Leyland Group are incredibly proud to report that two of its brethren have received awards in King Charles III first New Year’s Honours List.
Christan (Chris) Upton a member of Carnarvon Lodge No 2376, has received the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Paul Wharton-Hardman JP, a member of Leyland St Andrew’s Lodge No 7391, has received the British Empire Medal (BEM).
Chris, who received Lancashire’s only OBE is headteacher at Tarleton Community Primary School. In May 2017 he helped his school community cope with the devastating news that one of the pupils, eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos, was the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena bombing. He later wrote a book called ‘Searching for the Sparkle: A School’s Journey of Recovery’.
He also launched a charity called the ‘Sparkle Bean’, dedicating all the proceeds of the book to providing small grants to primary schools in the sad event of the sudden death of a pupil.
On receiving his OBE, Chris said: “When I received the letter a month ago, I was very shocked and it has taken a while to sink in. I am immensely honoured and proud to receive it, not only for myself but for all those connected with our school.
Tarleton Community Primary is a special place to be and I want to pay tribute to our staff, children, parents and the communities of the villages of Tarleton and Hesketh Bank in pulling together in the darkest of times to ensure we did the best for our children. It is fantastic to see our children are now flourishing at high school.”
Paul was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Lancashire, particularly during Covid-19. He completed over 2,000 hours of voluntary service with St John Ambulance during the pandemic
Paul said: “I am absolutely honoured and humbled that I have received a British Empire Medal from the King in his first ever New Year’s Honours List, for services to the community in Lancashire in particular during the Covid pandemic.
I recognise the privilege of being able to do what I love as both a Parish and Borough Councillor within the community, and for all of the incredible moments, experiences, achievements and memories that volunteering 100s of hours on front line ambulances during the COVID pandemic gave me.
Receiving this award is a very proud moment for my family and I, and to be given this news as we head into the new year makes it feel even more special.”