Honours For Wimbledon Volunteers

MBEs awarded to local people

Two people connected with Wimbledon have been awarded MBEs in the Queen's New Year Honours list in honour of their work in the volunteering sector.

Joyce Andrews, aged 74, has volunteered at Wimbledon and Merton Swimming Club for the past 39 years.

Mrs Andrews, who lives in Worcester Park, first got involved with the club when her daughter's doctor recommended she took up swimming to help her asthma.

The club meets at the Wimbledon Leisure Centre pool in Latimer Road every Wednesday night, with competition nights on Tuesdays.

Wimbledon resident Robert Bieber has also been awarded an MBE for his services to the volunteer sector.

He is now vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of Combat Stress, a Leatherhead-based charity which offers treatment to ex-servicemen and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He is also a former joint chair of ORT -the world's largest Jewish education and vocational training organisation.

Another Wimbledon resident, senior civil servant Martin Rumsey, has also been awarded an MBE. Mr Rumsey, 60, has been given his honour for his work as a Parliamentary Select Committee Liaison Officer, Science and Research Group in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

And John Murphy, who works for Merton Borough Council, was awarded an MBE for services to health and safety in the construction industry.

Mr Murphy has worked for the council as the manager of CHAS (the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) for the last seven years. Prior to this he managed the council's safety, emergency and risk management sections while at the same time developing CHAS.

He is widely acknowledged as the main developer of the CHAS scheme, taking it from what was originally a London-based scheme to what is now the largest scheme of its type in Europe with over 450 client users and over 37,000 registered contractors and consultants.

He was also the founder member chair (now past chair) of the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) competence forum. Here he was involved with colleagues from the construction industry and the HSE to increase the mutual recognition between a number of the major health and safety prequalification schemes which have helped bring huge savings in time and resources to the construction industry.

Mr Murphy, who will be collecting his honour on May 11, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled about receiving this honour and feel incredibly proud to be recognised for the work that has been achieved through CHAS which started here in Merton. It is not a cliché to say that this award could not have been made without the support, hard work and commitment of the CHAS team."

December 31, 2010