Three local women in New Year’s Honours List

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Three women with strong links to the Harborough district have been recognised in the New Year’s honours list.

The former governor of Gartree Prison Sue McAllister, who lives in The Langtons, has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath for her work with the Prison Service.

Sue Lambert.

Sue Lambert.

Maggie Philbin, Harborough broadcaster and CEO of young people’s technology organistaion TeenTech, has received an OBE.

And there was a BEM for charity worker Sue Lambert for her services to the community in Market Harborough.

Sue McAllister (55) got her award primarily for her work as director general of the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Appinted in 2012, she was the first woman in the UK to hold the most senior position within a prison service.

Maggie Philbin.

Maggie Philbin.

She was leader of a staff of almost 2,000 people and responsible for a budget of £149m. She stepped down in October.

She said: “It has been a great privilege to lead the prison service over the past four years. When I became director general my focus was to lead the transformational reform envisaged in the Prison Review Report.”

Recipients of the presitigious Order of the Bath are usually senior military officers or senior civil servants,

Maggie Philbin (61) received her OBE for her services to the science, technology and engineering community.

Many people know Maggie as a TV presenter, but her OBE is as much for her lower-profile work as co-founder of the highly-regarded TeenTech eight years ago.

The award-winning organisation helps young people, their parents and teachers understand more about opportunities in science, technology and engineering.

“I’m very thrilled and honoured to be awarded an OBE” said Maggie. “It came as a massive surprise and it’s been very hard to keep quiet about it for the past four weeks.”

Maggie said her TV career on programmes like Tomorrow’s World and Bang Goes The Theory had led directly to her work with young people in TeenTech.

She added: “I always felt immensely privileged to have worked on Tomorrow’s World. It wasn’t until then I had any idea how big the world of science and technology really was and that there were so many opportunities at different entry points.”

She explained TeenTech was formed after she was “struck by the profound lack of information about the opportunities available in tech across a range of sectors and industries.”

The Philbin family home was in Stoughton, then in Little Stretton in the north of the Harborough district.

Maggie is patron of Market Harborough-based VASL (Voluntary Action South Leicestershire), where her sister Nickie works.

Retired police officer Sue Lambert (57), from Thorpe Langton, received her BEM for services to the local community.

A keen organiser of charity events around Harborough, she said she was “absolutely thrilled” with her award.