New Year's Honours for Leeds Beckett graduates
Former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne studied Graphic Design at Leeds College of Art in 1967 and has been awarded a CBE for services to Literature. Anthony has written or illustrated more than 50 children's books since 1976. He received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2000 and was Children’s Laureate from 2009 to 2011.
Internationally renowned choreographer and CEO and Principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance Sharon Watson DL has been awarded an MBE for services to dance. Sharon completed an MA Performance Works in 2010 whilst serving as the longest-standing Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre. Sharon received an Honorary Doctorate from Leeds Beckett in 2019 and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire in 2020. Sharon also serves as a Governor of Leeds Beckett University.
Kim Leadbeater studied BSc (Hons) Health Related Exercise and Fitness, 2005 and has been awarded an MBE for services to social cohesion in the community of Batley, West Yorkshire and to combatting loneliness during Covid-19. Kim is a fitness professional and former lecturer in physical activity and health, with a passion for holistic wellbeing. She is an ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation which was set up after the murder of her sister, Jo Cox MP. She chairs the West Yorkshire More In Common volunteer group and is spokesperson for the annual Great Get Together, a weekend of community events across the UK held at the end of June.
Karen O’Brien studied Professional Diploma in Epilepsy Care in 2008 and has been awarded an MBE for services to Pharmacy and patient safety, particularly during the Covid-19 response. Karen has worked in Pharmacy since 1994 and held a number of key positions within Pharmacy in the North West and is Regional Chief Pharmacist and Controlled Drug Accountable Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement, North West Region.
Sarah Wallace studied Professional Studies in Speech & Language Therapy in 1996 and has been awarded an OBE for services to the NHS. Sarah works as a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist based at the Wythenshawe Hospital.
Connor Wilkinson studied BSc (Hons) Creative Music and Sound in 2002 and received the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to the economy during Covid-19. Connor is Head of eCommerce Data at ASDA where he is part of the team responsible for the supermarket’s online shopping offering which was scaled up to help people shop safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.