GDST Alumnae Recognised in the King’s New Year Honours

We are delighted to congratulate six GDST alumnae, and a former GDST staff member, who have been awarded for their exceptional service to society.

Dianne Jeffrey alumna of Sheffield High School for Girls GDST receives award in New Year Honours List

Dianne Jeffrey DBE, DL

Dianne Jeffrey, née Cantor, from the Class of 1957 at Sheffield High School for Girls, was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire, DBE for her services to Older People Abroad and the community in Derbyshire.

For more than 30 years, Dianne has made a tremendous contribution to the voluntary and public sectors across every level of society. She was chairman of Age UK, the country’s largest charity helping everyone to make the most of later life, until 2018. She also chaired Age International, which supports older people in some of the world’s poorest places and has remained on their board as a trustee. 

Read more on the Sheffield High School for Girls website

Alison Murray MBE

Alison Murray was awarded an MBE for her outstanding services to Adult Social Care as Deputy Director at the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England. She previously held the post of Head of Inspection there for almost a decade before being promoted to her current position.

Alison is an alumna of Central Newcastle High School (Newcastle High School for Girls) from the Class of 1979.

Josephine Dobrin alumna of South Hampstead High School for Girls GDST receives award in New Year Honours List

Josephine Dobrin OBE

South Hampstead High School for Girls alumna Josie Dobrin was awarded an OBE for her tireless efforts to make the creative industries more representative and inclusive.

As Co-Founder and Executive Chair of Creative Access, Josie’s leadership of 10+ years has overseen the placement of thousands of talented and underrepresented individuals, delivered 2,000 career support programmes, and forged partnerships with 700+ organisations in her mission to transform the creative landscape.

Josephine said, “This award is for everyone who is really helping to shape the creative industries to become stronger, more representative and a place where everyone can thrive.”

Dorothy Whittington BEM

The first of two Oxford High School alumnae to receive an award is Dorothy Whittington (Class of 1948). She was made a medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for her services to Volunteering and Higher Education.

Dorothy was recognised for her work at The Oxford University Newcomers’ Club, a volunteer-led organisation dedicated to helping those who are new to the University of Oxford to settle in, find out more about Oxford, and provide opportunities to meet people. The group is inclusive and diverse, welcoming individuals from all backgrounds.

Camilla Bowry OBECamilla Bowry alumna of Croydon High School GDST receives award in New Year Honours List

Croydon High School congratulated their alumna Camilla Bowry on her OBE for services to Young People, Education and the Environment. Camilla is the founder of the charity Sal’s Shoes, which redistributes footwear to children in need worldwide.

In the last decade, they have found new feet for over five million pairs of shoes in 61 countries worldwide, including increasingly here in the UK.

Anna Lapwood MBE

Organist, choir director, and alumna of Oxford High School Anna Lapwood was awarded an MBE for her services to Music. In 2016, she was appointed Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, one of the youngest people ever to have directed an Oxford or Cambridge University college choir, and in 2018 established a girls’ choir at the College. 

Nicknamed ‘The Taylor Swift of Classical Music’, Anna has given the typically traditional organ a whole new image inspiring millions of young TikTok fans. She is also an associate artist at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

On receiving this award, Anna said on her website, “This honour has inspired me to keep pushing for the causes close to my heart. Everyone should have the option to pursue a career in music: nobody should feel they aren’t welcome in our industry because of who they are.”

Lorna Cocking MBE

Finally, we would like to extend our congratulations to Lorna, who served as a GDST Council Chair from 2007 to 2014, and was awarded an MBE for services to Education.

After working for 17 years as a teacher and then in high-level directorial roles, Lorna served on the board of governors for numerous educational organisations. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the National Foundation for Educational Research and Chair of Governors at Kent College, Canterbury. We are proud to recognise Lorna’s fantastic contribution to the GDST with the Lorna Cocking Scholarship.

The GDST Alumnae Network

The GDST Alumnae Network is the largest organisation of its kind in the country. There are over 100,000 GDST alumnae from across our family of 25 all-girls schools and the network is increasing every year.

Find out more about the GDST Alumnae Network