‘Customer whisperer’ one of a host of Yorkshire people recognised in Queen’s birthday honours

Kate Hardcastle

Several Yorkshire business people have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their services.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, published tomorrow, recognises the achievements of a wide range of people across the UK. In total, 1,057 people are receiving an award.

Those announced as receiving MBEs in Yorkshire are:

Kate Hardcastle, co-founder of Insight with Passion. For services to business and entrepreneurship.

Hardcastle, known as the ‘customer whisperer’ co-founded a the business transformation service in 2009 and during the last eight years, the company has brought employment opportunities to places and people in need.  Insight with Passion gives advice to retailers and brands worldwide and has doubled in size every year since. It dedicates 20% of all available time back to the community through its Access for All scheme for the first five years. This has helped many charities, community projects and start-up entrepreneurs to flourish.

In five years, Insight with Passion has created support for over 2,000 start-ups and given 8,000 hours back, with 50 extended projects for start-ups or charity projects. Hardcastle has dedicated 25 years of voluntary service to the UK and beyond, working as Ambassador for the Diana Award, and now as a Trustee. She founded the charity Dreamgirls, which have held over 40 events and raised over £40,000.

Lucy Prior, international trade director at Rail Alliance. For services to Rail Exports

As Membership Development and International Trade Director at the Rail Alliance, Prior, of Sheffield, has raised awareness of strategic developments in the sector to the SME community. She has been recognised for bringing passion and enthusiasm to everything she does and has worked with Department for International Trade (DIT), Department for Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy, Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine to ensure that local suppliers have access to national events and opportunities.

As a key rail sector multiplier, she has promoted and supported many of the opportunities prioritised by DIT. She is a great user of social media to promote activities and campaigns and she has used this widely to support and advocate Women in Rail, which seeks to improve diversity in the UK rail industry. She is a Young Rail Professional Ambassador, encouraging people in the industry to join the YRP.

Keith Tordoff, owner and proprietor, Oldest Sweet Shop in the World, Pateley Bridge, and chair, Nidderdale Chamber of Trade.  For services to business and the community in Nidderdale.

With a passion for his town and community he has worked tirelessly to promote Pateley Bridge and the surrounding Nidderdale area. A former police officer, upon retirement, Tordoff, of Harrogate, bought the Oldest Sweet Shop in England.  Over the last 25 years he has developed the business into a much loved British iconic brand, earning it a place in the Guinness World Records.

As Chair of the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, he has played a key role in increasing membership and promoting local businesses. He worked with the local High School to build a Business Resource Centre for students. His efforts have seen the rejuvenation of Pateley Bridge’s High Street, creating jobs. .

Alex Usborne, co-founder, 104 Films Ltd. For services to exports in media and promoting disability in Film

In 2004, with Justin Edgar, Sheffield-based Usborne set up the UK’s leading production company and training provider focussing on disability, with the aim of creating a higher representation of disabled people both in front of and behind the camera.

They have produced a number of critically acclaimed award-winning films for an international audience. The company has reported export sales of £1m over a three year period. 104 run training schemes, short film programmes and initiatives for disabled film talent and are strategic partners of the British Film Institute (BFI), Creative Skillset & Creative England. Usborne is highly regarded at the BFI, with a great track record of success in what is a very challenging area of the field, and is a strong advocate for improving diversity in film. He is passionate about developing and showcasing disabled people’s talent and also promoting Sheffield.

Awarded with BEM:

Roger Charnley, co-founder of the Burley and District Chamber of Trade (BADCOT). For services to Business and the community in Burley-in-Wharfedale, West Yorkshire

In 2002, he co-founded the Burley and District Chamber of Trade (BADCOT) to act as a single voice for local businesses affected by major road closure by the Yorkshire Water Authority. Thanks to his sheer determination and tenacity he succeeded in winning substantial compensation for local businesses, thereby ensuring that the village did not suffer. Since then he has continued to be the driving force behind the chamber.