Sue answers questions about her MBE…

It’s been a couple of weeks since our CEO, Sue Anstiss, was awarded an MBE in the New Year 2018 Honours List for services to grassroots and women’s sports.

Following all the initial excitement, we asked Sue to answer some of the questions that lots of us have been asking… how did she feel when she found out, does she know how she was nominated and when will she be visiting the Palace?

How did you hear that you’d been awarded an MBE?

It was about a month before the public announcement, at the end of November, when I received a letter from the Cabinet Office marked On Her Majesty’s Service – URGENT PERSONAL.

It opened with: “The Prime Minister has asked me to to inform you in strict confidence, that having accepted the advice of the Head of the Civil Service and the Main Honours Committee, she proposes to submit your name to the Queen. She is recommending that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2018 Honours List.”

Did you keep it secret?

I managed to keep it fairly confidential for the first few days, but have to confess that I did then share the exciting news with close friends and family. My youngest daughter’s first question was ‘can I share it on Instagram now?’ Nooooo

Do you know who nominated you?

I do. Two of my lovely colleagues at Promote PR wrote the application - Kate Hannon and Katie Halliday. They gathered about 15 letters of support from various people which I have since had the pleasure of reading. They submitted the nomination almost 18 months ago. Apparently it usually takes that long from submission of a nomination to an announcement. If you’re not chosen you don’t hear anything.

How did you feel when you found out?

Initially I was shocked, then hugely excited and very, very proud. And then a little sad.

At times like this, it’s natural to think about making your loved ones proud. My dad, Roy Anstiss, who was the ultimate sports fan, died in April 2017. I know he would have been extraordinarily proud to know that I’d been awarded an MBE.

Despite the sadness that he wasn’t able to learn of my news, I’ve consoled myself with the thought that my honour is a great tribute to a man who encouraged his daughter in sport as much as his three sons; someone who recognised ‘great sport is great sport’ whether played by men or women.

What sort of response have you had to the announcement?

It’s been unbelievable. A post I shared on LinkedIn about my Honour has been viewed almost 60,000 times, with hundreds of likes and messages of congratulations.

In the days after the announcement I received over 500 personal messages from friends, family and peers. It was particularly touching to hear from school friends, teachers and former colleagues and clients. I’ve had letters, cards and even gifts of flowers and champagne. It’s been amazing to see how much people love sharing and celebrating good news.

Why do people get Honours?

A small proportion of Honours are awarded for ‘excellence’, people who have excelled in a specific area or field – business, science, music, drama, sport etc. These tend to be the Honours the public hear about in the media. Surprisingly to many people, around 80% of the Honours go to ordinary people whose actions have contribute to improving society and their communities.

What’s the difference between a CBE, OBE, MBE and BEM?

A CBE is awarded to people who have a prominent role at national level, or a leading role at regional level. You can also get one for a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area.

An OBE is awarded for having a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.

An MBE is awarded for an outstanding achievement or service to the community. This will have had a long-term, significant impact and stand out as an example to others.

A BEM is awarded for a ‘hands-on’ service to the local community. This could be a long-term charitable or voluntary activity, or innovative work of a relatively short duration that has made a significant difference.

When will you be going to the Palace?

Around 24 Investitures take place throughout the year at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. They are usually performed by The Queen or Prince Charles, but on some occasions Princess Anne or Prince William also conduct them.

It’s likely that mine will take place sometime before June.

Obviously I'd been happy to receive the medal from any member of The Royal Family in any Royal location (but secretly I’m hoping I get to meet the Queen at Buckingham Place!)

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