FOLLOWING a year that has seen everyone’s daily lives flipped upside down, a handful of Dorset residents have been recognised for their efforts and achievements.

From Coastguard and wildlife ranger stalwarts to a talented cellist, a long-term supporter of the disability arts sector and a children’s charity fundraiser, the New Year Honours have highlighted the county’s great and good.

Bournemouth resident Chris Thomas, deputy director of HM Coastguard, has been made a Member of the British Empire (MBE).

The 60-year-old has spent nearly 40 years working with the emergency services. His career started in the early 1980s with Dorset Ambulance NHS Trust, working on front line ambulances, then operational control rooms and following that Human Resources roles.

He left in 2002 to join the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) where his commitment to maritime safety and search and rescue has been seen at all levels.

Mr Thomas has been one of the MCA’s Inclusion Champions and has promoted issues of diversity and equality campaigning to increase women joining HM Coastguard and improving female representation at senior levels within the agency

He is joined on the list by Swanage resident Ian Brown, who has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to search and rescue as a volunteer station officer with HM Coastguard.

Mr Brown has been serving with Swanage Coastguard Rescue Team since 1990. He has been involved in many high-profile incidents where his calm authority provided support for his teammates and others in often traumatic situations.

The 49-year-old has also given up his own time to promote maritime safety and leads his team’s attendance in the annual carnival parade.

Internationally-acclaimed cellist Natalie Clein has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to music.

Poole-born Ms Clein has built an illustrious career, with frequent performances at major venues and with orchestras all around the world.

The 43-year-old, whose sister Louisa is known for playing Maya Stepney in Emmerdale, attended Talbot Heath School.

It was while she was a pupil at the Bournemouth school that she first grabbed the headlines by winning the 1994 BBC Young Musician of the Year award before studying at the Royal College of Music.

Forestry England wildlife ranger Mark Warn, of Wareham, has also been awarded an BEM for his services to forestry.

Mr Warn was first to respond to the devastating Wareham Forest fire in May of this year and he went on to spend 18 consecutive days on site, advising and supporting the fire service.

He has been with Forestry England and its predecessors for more than 30 years and is responsible for the wildlife management and conservation of the area.

Blandford resident Trish Wheatley, CEO of Disability Arts Online (DAO), has been awarded a BEM for services to disabled artists during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During 2020 the DAO team supported 73 disabled artists through 93 one-to-one sessions, streamed 19 digital events, provided 135 artists and writers with paid work, provided access support for 18 disabled artists to successfully apply for emergency funds, written 15 letters of recommendation and commissioned 30 artists through the DAO Covid Commissions in response to the crisis, reaching a total audience of 190,000 people.

Sherborne resident Anne Dearle has been honoured with a BEM for her services to fundraising.

Ms Dearle has been a long-term volunteer with national charity Save the Children and helped the organisation to carry out life-changing work.

In a challenging year for the emergency services dealing with the coronavirus pandemic as well as their day-to-day response work, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service's area manager Andy Cole and chief fire officer Ben Ansell have both been recognised with a Queen’s Fire Service Medal (QFSM).

Meanwhile, several New Forest residents have also been recognised.

Ringwood resident Tom Fowler, who works for the Environment Agency as a technical leader in their Blandford base, has been awarded a BEM.

Karl Simons, who also lives in Ringwood, has been made an OBE for his services to mental health policy in his role as chief health, safety and wellbeing officer at Thames Water.

Paul Brockman has been honoured with a BEM for his work in woodland management and nature conservation.

Mr Brockman, 62 and of New Milton, worked as woodland manager at Hoburne Basley for many years before becoming an independent trader under the name Woodlander Coppice last month.

Brockenhurst’s Stevo Radjen also receives a BEM for his voluntary and charitable services across the south west.

Mr Radjen has raised incredible sums of money for good causes, including in 2018 when he secured £140,000 for Naomi House and Jacksplace hospice in Winchester.

He ran 21 marathons in 21 days to mark the hospice’s 21st birthday, while also staging a Gala Woodland Ball, which welcomed more than 400 guests.