Awards for Mid Sussex residents in Queen’s New Year honours

Two Mid Sussex residents have received awards in the the Queen’s New Year honours.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 11:17 am
Rosie has completed 36 marathons

Lindfield resident and chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation Paul Ramsbottom has been awarded an OBE for services to charity.

And Rosemary Thompson, 62, from Hurstpierpoint has been awarded an MBE for services to the Armed Forces community.

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity, which supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts and humanities.

Paul Ramsbottom has been named in the New Year Honours List

Paul began work there as a grants assistant in 1998, working his way up to chief executive. Local causes supported by the Wolfson Foundation include Chailey Heritage, St Peter and St James Hospice and Ditchling Museum.

Until recently, Paul was Governor of a local school, Blackthorns Community Primary Academy in Lindfield.

As well as his role at the Wolfson Foundation, and its sister charity the Wolfson Family Charitable Trust, Paul chaired the Foundation Forum, a network for CEOs of trusts and foundations.

Outside of his professional life he has an interest in international development. For over a decade he has been the chair of the Savannah Education Trust - a charity based in Lindfield that he helped found - which provides Christian schools in the villages of northern Ghana.

He is also a Trustee of Mercy Ships UK, an organisation that deploys hospital ships to some of the poorest countries in the world.

Paul said: “This was a lovely surprise and a good way to start the New Year. I see the honour very much as a reflection on the outstanding teamwork of the wonderful staff and trustees at the Wolfson Foundation.

“I feel privileged to be part of the charity sector and to work closely with a wide-range of inspiring organisations.”

Rosemary Thompson is head of events with the Not Forgotten Association (NFA) and her citation describes how she displays exceptional compassion and empathy to those who feel isolated, lonely or vulnerable.

Rosie said: “I love what I do and to be honoured in this way is just wonderful.”

She used to work for Sight Savers in Haywards Heath and went on: “Rather than just have input into a charity, the part I enjoy the most is working with people, so when this opportunity turned up I grabbed it with both hands. I can’t begin to say how wonderful it is to see your work make a difference to seriously injured servicemen and women.”

She is the driving force behind meeting the needs of a new generation of beneficiaries, now up to 10,000 a year, and makes sure this national charity remains relevant.

Rosie’s strength was identifying that younger people need to be challenged in order to recover, hence accompanying them on marathons. She accompanied a seriously wounded soldier who had been shot in the head on the tough Marathon des Sables, (a former competitor was James Cracknell) in 42 degrees. To date she has run 36 marathons.

She explained: “Service people, young and old, also miss comradeship and that where we can help. We encourage them to look beyond their injuries and give them confidence.”

Many have become artists, outdoor activity leaders, work with charities or realise previously unimaginable lifetime goals. In her volunteering activities she has raised about £250,000 for the NFA and under her leadership, the charity is now reaching even more isolated and lonely beneficiaries.

The NFA has supported 220,000 individuals during her time and many of its remarkable achievements are seen as her personal triumph.