Sarah Waddington among comms figures recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Sarah Waddington, past CIPR president and founder of management and comms consultancy Astute.Work, has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours, alongside senior comms figures across public health, public sector, charity and education.

Sarah Waddington becomes an CBE for services to public relations and voluntary sectors
Sarah Waddington becomes an CBE for services to public relations and voluntary sectors

Two deputy directors of comms receive honours for their services to the NHS or public health, "particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic". Vivianne Brealey of Public Health England becomes an MBE, while Donna Webster of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has been awarded the BEM.

Lisa King, director of communications and external relations at the charity Refuge, becomes an OBE for "services to victims of domestic abuse".

The charity has been campaigning for more action on domestic violence amid a rise in cases during lockdown. Earlier this year Refuge successfully campaigned to make the threat of sharing intimate images a crime.

Alison Daniels, deputy director, digital, at the Communications Directorate in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, becomes an OBE for "services to British foreign policy". And Joanna Harvey, global director, corporate and alumni relations, at the Mountbatten Program in New York, becomes an MBE for "services to education, international talent and trade development".

Sarah Waddington becomes an CBE for "services to public relations and voluntary sectors".

She founded Astute.Work 12 years ago with a virtual working model. The business focuses on organisations that put purpose and society first. Its clients include the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Children’s Cancer North, FW Capital, The Common Room of the Great North, GBB, Health Education England and Cloudfm.

Waddington developed and funded the #FuturePRoof community to improve social mobility in the comms sector. She is chair of the PRCA’s Borderlands and North East group and an advisory board member for The Blueprint, which promotes ethnic diversity in PR.

Waddington was previously trustee of the Sunshine Fund, which supplies specialist equipment to children with disabilities in north-east England. She was part of the advisory group overseeing the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act, which came into effect in May 2020, and is currently an Institute of Directors ambassador in north-east England.

She said: “This honour is incredibly humbling and I’m grateful to all those who were involved in making it happen. I’m surrounded by many fantastic leaders who are also doing their bit to create a fairer society and level the playing field. That’s a group I admire and am privileged to be part of.”

PRCA director-general Francis Ingham said: “Nobody in PR deserves a CBE more than Sarah. Her contribution to professionalising our industry has been enormous, and has helped to transform it into the power for good that it is today. I congratulate her on this fantastically well-deserved recognition of her many achievements."

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