Honorary fellowships were conferred on the following people in the July and November ceremonies of 2014.

July ceremonies

Professor Sir Adam Roberts, KCMG, FBA

In recognition of his outstanding service to the study and practice of international relations.  (awarded July 2014)

Adam has had a distinguished career in academia and international relations and is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.  Born in Penrith, Adam studied Modern History at Magdalen College, undertook PhD studies and lecturing duties at the London School of Economics and rose to Professor of International Relations at Oxford in 1986.  Adam published widely in civil resistance, international law, the U.N and strategic studies, and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1990; serving as President (2009-2013).  His interests include mountaineering and cycling.

Ben Helfgott MBE DUniv (Southampton) Hons DLit (Ed)

In recognition of his outstanding services to the community.

Ben Helfgott is a Polish born British Holocaust survivor and former champion weightlifter. He is one of two Jewish athletes to have competed in the Olympics after surviving the Holocaust; spending time at Buchenwald before being liberated and sent to a camp at Windermere, England.

Helfgott eventually moved to London acquiring an interest in weightlifting, and becoming lightweight champion in 1955, 1956 and 1958 as well as representing GB in the 1956 Olympics at Melbourne, Australia and at Rome in 1960.

For 46 years Ben has been Chairman of the ‘45 Aid Society, an association formed by and for the boys and girls who arrived in England in 1945. He was awarded an MBE for services to the community.

Baroness Caroline Cox

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to international humanitarian and human rights.  (awarded July 2014)

Caroline Cox is a crossbench member of the House of Lords and is the founder of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART). Caroline qualified as a nurse at the Royal London Hospital and became Head of the Nursing Education Research Unit at Chelsea College. She obtained a first-class honours degree in Sociology as a London University part time external student and become Head of Department of Sociology at the Polytechnic of North London. She co-authored books ranging from the application of social science to clinical care to a critique of the effects of hard-line Marxism-Leninism at the Polytechnic. Her peerage was announced in 1982 and she was Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords for twenty years. Committed to using the privilege of speaking in Parliament to be a voice for people whose voices are not heard, she founded in HART 2004, to provide aid and advocacy for those suffering oppression and persecution, who are largely neglected by international organisations for political or security reasons.

[HART currently works with local partners in Armenia/Nagorno Karabakh, Sudan, South Sudan, Abyei, Nigeria, Syria and Burma (Myanmar)].


Professor Dr John R Ashton CBE

In recognition of his outstanding and lifelong contribution to the public health service. (awarded July 2014)

Professor John Ashton CBE has had a distinguished career in academia and research, primarily involving public health. A specialist in psychiatry, general practice, family planning and public health medicine, he has taught public health at undergraduate and post-graduate levels internationally and as a Professor at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore’s University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Lancaster, University of Manchester, University of Cumbria, University of Central Lancashire, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Valencia Institute of Public Health. 

He was also Regional Director of Public Health for the North West of England for 13 years and County Medical Officer for Cumbria from 2006.  

He was President of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Glasgow and Edinburgh (2013-2016) and currently a Life Fellow and was President of the Epidemiology and Public Health Section of the Royal Society of Medicine (2014-2017), of which he is a Life Fellow.  John is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.  

In 2016, he was made a Yeoman of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and in 2017 was honoured as a Freeman of the City of London.  John is Senior Consultant Adviser to the World Health Organisation European Healthy Cities Network, of which he was one of the founders in 1986.  In recent years John has been working as an independent consultant and author of books, scientific articles and Op-eds in the mainstream media.  This has included advising on the public health response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

During the COVID pandemic he has been consultant adviser to the Crown Prince of Bahrain COVID Task Force as well as to the public health response in North Wales, West Sussex, Jersey and Northamptonshire.  John’s recent publications includes the topical book ‘Blinded by Corona, How the Pandemic Ruined Britain’s Health and Wealth’ published in 2020.

Maddy Prior MBE

In recognition of her outstanding service and lifelong contribution to folk music.

Maddy Prior was born in Blackpool to Z-Cars co-creator, Alan Prior, Maddy grew up in St Albans. There she played in local folk clubs before meeting Tim Hart and founding Steeleye Span in 1969 releasing three Top 40 albums and achieving a certified gold record with sales of "All Around My Hat". Maddy continued to work with the band over the years and still tours with them today. Her other long-term partnership has been with Andy Watt’s Carnival Band; launched in 1987 with the release of A Tapestry of Carols- a collaboration which tours nationally on a regular basis. 

Maddy has enjoyed a string of other partnerships including the highly successful pairing with June Tabor, work with Troy Donockley and Nick Holland, also Hannah James and Giles Lewin, plus her husband for many years Rick Kemp and their daughter Rose Kemp. Maddy was awarded the MBE for services to folk music, has a gold pin from BASCA, and, in 2015 was honoured with the Gold Badge Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.  In 2003, she established Stones Barn as a centre for courses in music, poetry and performance which she runs in partnership with daughter Rose.  In 2012 she founded the Stepping Stones Festival which runs annually in the unique setting of Kirklinton Hall near Carlisle.


Thomas Peter Woolaghan BEng CEng FIMechE

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of the engineering and technology industry on the West Coast of Cumbria. (awarded July 2014)

Pete was born in 1966 in Whitehaven, Cumbria and attended Salford University; gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following university, he joined Jaguar cars as a design analyst and then worked on seismic design for Sizewell B nuclear power station.  After relocating to Cumbria and working for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority at Sellafield, Pete left to become one of the founding directors of nuclear decommissioning specialist company REACT Engineering Limited.  He has since gone on to form a number of new technology businesses in Cumbria. 

Pete is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and became the founder and chairman of the REACT Foundation, a charity established to encourage young people from West Cumbria to pursue further study in science and engineering.

Simon Greenall

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the television and film industry.

Simon was born in Longtown in 1958, and it was his parent’s mixture of Lancashire and west Cumberland accents that first started his love of dialect. The characters that frequented his dads repair garage added another level of voices to feed off. Glaswegians, Geordies, Poles, Scots and Borderers all passed through.

After working at Lochinvar School in Longtown, Simon received a grant from Cumbria education authority to attend Manchester Polytechnic school of Theatre, and after graduation he moved to London, writing comedy for the likes of Smith and Jones and Hale and Pace. Steve Coogan, who was at Manchester Poly at the same time, cast him as Michael the Geordie but it is as Alexander Orlov the irate owner of Compare The Meerkat.com that he is best known today.

Dame Sue Ion OBE FREng

In recognition of her outstanding service to the nuclear industry and to science and engineering. (awarded July 2014)

Dame Sue Ion was born in Carlisle in 1955, and attended school in Preston, followed by studies at Imperial College, completing a PhD in Materials Science. She retained an interest in North West England, and was instrumental in the drive to ensure the region features significantly in national science and technology policy in the UK.  Sue rose to become Group Director of British Nuclear Fuels Limited between 1992-2006, managing research and development as well as capital investment programmes. 

She was a member of the UK Council for Science and Technology from 2004-2011 and was a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Manchester from 2004-2019 and became its Deputy Chair in 2016.  Sue is currently a member of the Board of the University of Central Lancashire.  She was awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to the nuclear industry and a DBE in the 2010 New Years Honours for services to Science and Engineering.

Susan Aglionby OBE DL

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to organic farming and services to the Cumbrian community (awarded July 2014)

Susan was born in Oxford in 1945. She trained as a nurse at St George’s Tooting, working there as a sister on the neurosurgical unit in the 1960’s. She became involved in fundraising for Corrymeela an ecumenical community in Northern Ireland, followed by fundraising to build the Avenues Youth Project, on challenging estate in West London. As a guider Susan trained guiders in Britain and Siberia.

On moving to Cumbria with her husband in 1989, she bought her first Longhorn cattle and sheep managing 200 acres organically, also providing education to school children, those in care and vulnerable adults. Susan served for nine years as a trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation. Susan was appointed an OBE in Jan 2017 and received the Blamire medal for outstanding contribution to agriculture in the old county of Cumberland. In February 2019 she was awarded a special Award for Care in the Farming Community by the Northern Farmer. Having been a sole trader for 24 years the farm became a registered charity in 2019 called Susan’ Farm undertaking Care Farming and education, all part of Susan’s succession planning.

In 2020 Susan acquired 23 acres adjoining the Houghton land including a fragment of Hadrian’s Wall, broadening the opportunities for education on the farm.

November ceremonies

Mary Styth

In recognition of her lifelong and outstanding contribution to public service, education, health and social care (awarded November 2014)

Mary’s experience in local government spans 55 years with her commitment to socialism being the driving force behind her career, motivated by a loathing of injustice and inequality.  She was first elected to Carlisle City Borough Council in 1970.  In the mid 1980’s Mary led a campaign to close “Special Schools” and integrate children with physical disabilities into mainstream education.  A strategy that has now been adopted as the norm. 

During this time she was also Chair of Social Services for Cumbria County Council and worked with the regional and county health authorities to negotiate the funding for the continuing care of patients with learning disabilities following the closure of the Dovenby Hall Hospital in West Cumbria.  In the late 1980’s Mary was founder member and Chairman of the Glenmore Trust, a local not-for-profit organisation that enables adults with learning disabilities and mental health conditions to live as independently as possible in the community. 

Mary has worked with communities in Poland and Copenhagen and established a tripartite health education programme with Morton School in the city whilst Chair of the Governing Body - a position she held for over 20 years.  Working on numerous committees and trusts at both a local and national level, she also served on the Boards of Carlisle College, was Chair of Governors of Cumbria College of the Art for several years and was Chairman of the James Rennie School for over 20 years.  Mary was Mayor of Carlisle in 2011. 

Mary continues to attend and support significant civic events and is an advocate for social need support within the community.

Dr Jim Cox OBE DL MD

In recognition of his outstanding and lifelong contribution to medicine and the health and social needs of rural communities. (awarded November 2014)

A Cumbrian by birth and educated at Keswick School, Dr Cox was for many years a GP in Caldbeck.  He was also Medical Director of Cumbria Ambulance Service.  Nationally, he was a consultant to the General Medical Council, a member of HRH The Prince of Wales’s Rural Revival Initiative, a board member of the Countryside Agency and the Commission for Rural Communities, and a member of the BBC Rural Affairs Committee. In 1999, with the active support of HRH The Prince of Wales, he founded the Northern Fells Group, a successful rural charity which mobilises local people to address the needs of their neighbours. 

Now retired to Applethwaite, he continues as a trustee of charities addressing rural issues.  He is a board member of Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

Charles John Graves

In recognition of his outstanding and lifelong contribution to the leisure, hospitality and tourism industry within Cumbria. (November 2014)

Charles grew up in Workington, Cumbria and joined the family business, Graves Cumberland Ltd, in 1972 which now owns several cinemas and bingo halls.  Charles is Chairman and Director of the Lake District Hotels Group which now includes 7 hotels plus restaurants, pubs, self-catering cottages, retail units and a 24-acre wildlife park with more than 100 species of animals and a 280-acre farm in north Cumbria with a herd of Belted Galloway cattle.  Turnover has now grown to around £30 million, and they employ nearly 500 staff.

Heike Horsburgh MBE

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to young people and services within the Cumbrian community (awarded November 2014).

In 2002 Heike arrived in Cumbria as Chief Executive to lead Young Cumbria.  Over 5000 young people were reached annually, and 400 adults and young people were trained each year in a variety of subjects including young leaders, mental health or youth work qualifications. In 2011, Heike was nominated for ‘Cumbria Woman of the Year’ for transforming Young Cumbria into a nationally respected youth work organisation.  

In 2012, she left the organisation and is currently an advisor and an associate trainer for several national and regional youth organisations and a Non-Executive Director for NHS organisations.  Heike is keen to support transformative services, particularly those focused on the voice and needs of children and young people.

John Porter

In recognition of his lifelong and outstanding contribution to the economy of the outdoor environment and the promotion of a mountain and adventure sports culture. (awarded November 2014)

John is an economic regeneration specialist and project manager who has worked extensively in both the public and private sectors.  As a renowned mountaineer, John was part of a small group of alpinists who set new standards in the 1970 and 80's, completing many notable first ascents especially in the Himalaya.  John co-founded the Kendal Mountain Festival in 1980 and directed KMF until 2008.  Between 2017 – 2019, he was President of the Alpine Club, the world’s first and most respected climbing club. 

He has initiated international meets, and cultural and environmental guidelines for expeditions.  He is also a founding trustee of the Mountain Heritage Trust. John’s first book ‘One Day as a Tiger’ won international awards including the Grand Prize in the Banff Mountain Book Festival in Canada.  It has been published in eight languages and has provided opportunities to speak and work around the world, most recently at Harvard in December 2021.  His first book of poetry will be published this year, and a follow-up to ‘One Day as a Tiger’ is underway.  His film; ‘Everest – By Those Who Were 1921 – 1922 – 1924’ - was premiered at KMF in November 2021.  The film is now touring film festivals worldwide. 

John is currently Hons. Secretary of the Mount Everest Foundation.

Simon Rogan

In recognition of his outstanding service to raising the profile of Cumbria through innovation and excellence in the culinary arts (awarded November 2014).

Simon is an internationally renowned, award-winning chef, recognised as one of the pioneers of the farm-to-table movement.  In 2002, Simon opened his debut restaurant L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria with a focus on hyperlocal and seasonal ingredients. 

The restaurant currently holds three Michelin stars, the top spot in the Good Food Guide and five AA Rosettes. In 2017, Simon was recognised as the AA chef of the year and is currently president of the Bocuse d'Or UK team. Simon opened Rogan & Co, his second venture in Cartmel in 2008 which won its first Michelin star in 2018 and currently holds three AA Rosettes.

In 2016, Simon launched Aulis Cartmel, a six-seater chef’s table experience. In 2011, Simon established Our Farm in The Lakes, which provides the restaurant group with high quality, sustainable produce. A London outpost of Aulis arrived in October 2017 as a stand-alone dining destination, an eight-seater chefs table experience in central Soho. Simon expanded his restaurant portfolio to Hong Kong, opening Aulis in January 2019 and Roganic in February 2019. Roganic Hong Kong was awarded its first Michelin star in December 2019. Simon opened Henrock in October 2019, an informally elegant restaurant set within Linthwaite House, a contemporary country house hotel in the heart of the Lake District. In 2020, in response to the global pandemic, the group launched Home by Simon Rogan, Simon's delivery offering, providing regularly changing three-course 'at home' dining experiences created in The Lakes.

In 2021, Simon's efforts towards sustainability were recognised with the newly introduced Michelin green star, awarded to both L'Enclume and Roganic Hong Kong. In 2022, Simon opened a Hong Kong-based bakery and natural wine bar The Baker & The Bottleman. L'Enclume was awarded its third Michelin star in February 2022, the first restaurant in the north of England to do so. This coincides with the group celebrating 20 years since Simon opened L'Enclume.

Caroline Thomson

In recognition of her lifelong and outstanding contribution to broadcast media and the arts.

Caroline Thomson studied History and Economics at York University before joining the BBC as a journalist trainee. Over the next forty years she has risen to national and international prominence in the world of broadcast media. This included positions with BBC Radio 4, BBC 1 and a decade at Channel 4, initially as Commissioning Editor for science and business programmes then as Head of Corporate Affairs. She re-joined the BBC as Deputy Director of the World Service in 1996. 

Four years later she became the Corporations’ Director of Policy and Legal Affairs before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2006. In this role Caroline was the Deputy Director General with responsibility for all the non-programme parts of the BBC except finance. Caroline stepped down from this role in September 2012 after serving twelve years as a member of the Executive Board. 

Today Caroline continues to have a mix of appointments in the arts and media worlds. She is chair of Digital UK and a director of the CN Media Group in Cumbria. In the arts world she was Executive Director of English National Ballet until 2016 and is now a trustee, she was Deputy Chair of the National Gallery in London until 2016 and is now a trustee of the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle. Caroline is also Deputy Chair of one of the National Health Service regulatory bodies.

In the business world she is a non-executive director of UK Government Investments, the UK body which manages the government’s financial interest in a range of state-owned businesses and a non-executive director of UITEC plc. In October 2017 she will become Chair of Oxfam.

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