A TRIO of Halesowen residents and a former Mayor of Dudley are among those to be rewarded as part of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Jane Clarke, who retired as the chief executive of Dudley Housing Association’s CHADD (Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District) in 2016, has been awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable women and children in Dudley.

She had a significant impact on the range of services provided by the charity, overseeing the opening of Allen House Refuge in 1993 and helping to open a purpose built New Beginnings Refuge in 2012.

Jane said: “This is a great honour and I feel humbled to have been awarded it. However it shouldn’t just be about me. This honour is for everyone who works at CHADD, quietly changing people's lives for the better and making a difference to those who are most in need in Dudley.

“I am very grateful to those who cared enough to propose me for the award I would like to share it with all those who are doing great things in our community, for the vulnerable and abused, for the homeless and lost and for the unloved and rejected.

“This recognition is for us all.”

Jane is also involved in many voluntary sector activities and runs a charity in India.

The Bishop of Dudley, Graham Usher, who is the chairman of CHADD, said: “I am thrilled and delighted that Jane Clarke has been awarded an MBE by Her Majesty The Queen.

“Jane has given her heart and soul to vulnerable women, children and young people in Dudley.

“Inspired by her deep Christian faith, she did much to grow the Churches Housing Association in Dudley and District to be a leading player in supporting vulnerable people living in Dudley, including providing the women’s refuge.

“So this is good news for Jane, good news for CHADD, and good news for Dudley.”

An MBE was also awarded to 96-year-old Derek Elton for services to scouting and the community in Stourbridge, while a British Empire Medal was given to Judith Morris – the unit manager of Halesowen Young Person’s Service Unit at St John Ambulance – in recognition of her voluntary service to first aid and young people.

Former Mayor of Dudley, Cllr Steve Waltho, has been recognised for services to local government and the community in Dudley.

The grandfather-of-three has received an MBE for years of commitment to the borough, as well as his charitable work which included a record-breaking fundraiser of £55,000 which went to five charities – including Halesowen’s Hope Centre – in his mayoral year of 2015.

Cllr Dave Tyler, current Mayor of Dudley, said: “I would like to congratulate all of the recipients of the Honours awards this year on their achievement.

“The contribution that each person has made to the borough and its communities has clearly been recognised by the people who have nominated them and their honours are well deserved.

“Awards like these always highlight the excellent work that goes on in this borough much of which goes unrecognised.”