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

July ceremonies

Professor Sir Adam Roberts, KCMG, FBA

Professor Sir Adam Roberts, KCMG, FBA

In recognition of his outstanding service to the study and practice of international relations.

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 1987. 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).

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.

Caroline Cox is a cross-bench member of the British House of Lords, and is the founder of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust. Caroline worked as a nurse in London for several years before studying Sociology and lecturing at the Polytechnic of North London.

After a number of publications and work with the Nursing Education Research Unit, her peerage was announced in 1982 and she was Deputy Speaker at the House of Lords for twenty years.

She founded the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust in 2003, which works to provide lasting change through aid and advocacy for those suffering oppression and persecution, who are largely neglected by the international media.

Professor Dr John R Ashton CBE

In recognition of his outstanding and lifelong contribution to the public health service.

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 is 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 President of the Epidemiology and Public Health Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. 

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.

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 has been a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Manchester since 2004 and became its Deputy Chair in 2016. 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 DL

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to organic farming and services to the Cumbrian community

Susan Aglionby was born in Oxford in 1945. Having gained three science A-levels she trained as a nurse at St Georges Tooting and was Sister of a neurosurgical ward in the 1960s. She became involved in raising money for Corrymeela an ecumenical project in Northern Ireland, followed by a fundraising drive to build the Avenues Youth Project on a challenging estate in West London. With a keen interest in the Girl Guide movement, Susan trained other guiders in Britain and in Siberia. 

On moving to Cumbria with her husband, she bought her first Longhorn cattle and sheep, and now manages over 200 acres, also providing education work to school children, those in care and vulnerable adults. Susan served for nine years as a Trustee of the Cumbria Community Foundation. Susan was appointed an OBE in Jan 2017 for " Services to Young People and the community in Cumbria


November ceremonies

Mary Styth

In recognition of her lifelong and outstanding contribution to public service, education, health and social care.

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 main stream education. A strategy that has now been adopted as the norm. Serving the city of Carlisle as Mayor in 2011 she raised £160,000 for numerous charities.

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)

Jim spent 22 years as a GP in Caldbeck, Cumbria. In 1998, he wrote an editorial in the British Medical Journal on the challenges of rural poverty and social exclusion. When HRH the Prince of Wales set up his Rural Revival Initiative he became a member of steering group and was instrumental in setting up the Northern Fells Group. This charitable company provides key access and services to those living in the Northern Fells of Cumbria – a group which he chaired until September 2014.

Jim was a board member of the Countryside Agency and Commission for Rural Communities and a member of the BBC Rural Affairs Committee.  He also worked for many years with the General Medical Council on the assessment of the performance of doctors in all branches of the medical profession. He is currently a trustee 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 a number of cinemas and bingo halls. Charles is Chairman and Director of the Lake District Hotels Group which now includes 8 hotels plus restaurants, pubs, a night-club, 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. Turnover has now grown to around £20 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.

In 2002 Heike arrived in Cumbria as Chief Executive of what is known today as ‘Young Cumbria’.  Over 400 adults and young people a year are trained in a variety of subjects including young leaders, mental health or youth work. 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 Cumbria NHS Partnership. 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.

John has worked as an economic regeneration specialist and helped firms win new business in the nuclear and renewable energy sectors. John is a mountaineer and was part of the small group of climbers that set new standards in the Himalayas in the 1970 and 780's, completing many notable first ascents around the world over. John co-founded the International Kendal Mountain Festival in 1980 and was its Director until 2008. 

He is the co-creator of SteepEdge Ltd, an on-line site for mountain culture, environment and adventure film. He is President of the Alpine Club (from Han. 2017) and a trustee of the Mountain Heritage Trust.  In September 2014 John’s book ‘One Day as a Tiger’ was published - a biography of mountaineering legend, Alex MacIntyre, with whom John made ascents of routes in the Alps, Himalayas and Andes. In November 2014 ‘One Day as a Tiger’ won the Grand Prize in the Banff Mountain Book Festival in Canada and was the first book written by a mountaineer to be short listed in the Times Cross Sport Writer of the Year (2015). It is now published in seven languages. He is currently working on two new writing projects after returning to the UK from a writing Fellowship at the Banff Centre.


Simon Rogan

In recognition of his outstanding service to raising the profile of Cumbria through innovation and excellence in the culinary arts.

Simon is most noticeably one of the most accomplished and respected chefs in the UK today.  In 2002 he opened L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria with its no-choice, determinedly seasonal and local tasting menu. Simon has added to this venture in Cartmel with ‘Rogan & Company’ - an informal restaurant venue. He has created ‘Aulis’, his research kitchen, as a think-tank environment to help co-ordinate and assist in his farming programme, foraging operation and food development. In May 2014 Simon succeeded Gordon Ramsay at Claridges in London and opened ‘Fera’. Simon has won many accolades over the years including Chef of the Year and Restaurateur of the Year 2013 at the Catey Awards. 


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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