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Lord Mayor's Honours to celebrate the best of Swansea

Stars of sport, stage, screen and local communities are to be honoured for their contribution to the life of our city at the first ever Lord Mayor's Honours on July 29.

Clllr David Hopkins (Lord Mayor)

Movie star Catherine Zeta Jones, journalist Huw Edwards, singer Bonnie Tyler, Swansea City stalwart Alan Curtis and rugby's Geoff Wheel are all set to have their achievements celebrated at the gala event. 

Residents who have made a difference in their communities and those from outside our city who've contributed to its success will be rubbing shoulders with those from Swansea who've gone on to achieve exceptional success in their chosen field on a UK or international stage.

The Lord Mayor's Honours will be taking place at a special gala ball at the Brangwyn Hall on July 29 which is also expected to raise thousands of pounds for local charities.

Cllr David Hopkins, Lord Mayor of Swansea, said his ambition was to honour those who've helped put Swansea on the map and have made a significant contribution to the life and success of the city.

He said: "Swansea is one of the great British cities. We've much to celebrate and much to be proud of. I hope what the Lord Mayor's Honours will show is that we're world class in other areas of achievement too, such as music, charity, the arts and journalism.

"As Lord Mayor and a local councillor I'm always out and about, and I've never failed to be impressed to witness the endeavour, determination and talent of people who make an exceptional contribution to the world of business, education and public office.

"That's why I've wanted to make sure the Lord Mayor's Honours recognise local achievement. I also think people from beyond our boundaries who have had a positive impact on our city should be recognised.

"The honours will be our way of offering thanks to them for their work which has contributed to raising the profile of this wonderful city across the world."

Catherine Zeta Jones' parents, Dave and Pat, have already agreed to be there on July 29 to pick up the honour for Services to Swansea Internationally on behalf of their daughter.

Bonnie Tyler, who has sold millions of records around the world, will be honoured for Services to Music.

She said: "South Wales is the place that keeps me grounded. I've toured all over the world and my career has given me a wonderful chance to tell others about the place where I'm from.

"To be honoured by the city that I call home is a wonderful accolade that I am so delighted to be able to accept."

Production designer Ed Thomas, who helped bring the new Dr Who series and its off-shoot Torchwood to TV screens around the world, is being honoured for services to film. So too is film director Kevin Allen, whose Twin Town movie homage to Swansea remains a cult classic.

Mr Thomas said: "Swansea is an inspirational place and a perfect backdrop for some of Dr Who's finest moments. Indeed, we've filmed more than one episode of the series at The Guildhall, right next door to the Brangwyn Hall.

"So receiving a Lord Mayor's honour will be very much a homecoming for me."

Among others receiving awards will be Rachael Webb, pioneering head teacher of Hafod Primary School. The school has been singled out for praise for its work in promoting pupil rights and responsibilities and Rachael herself was named Welsh Educator of the Year in 2013.

Hafod was the first school in Wales to achieve the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools award in 2011 and Rachael's policies are based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with the aim of ensuring that all children are protected from harm, abuse and neglect. 

She said: "It is a great privilege to be honoured for Services to the Community. I feel privileged every day to work with such a great group of pupils, staff, parents and governors at Hafod Primary School.

"Our school is a microcosm of the world around us and we aim to be at the heart of our community. That wouldn't be possible without the support of so many other people, so I feel the award is the community's award too."  

Cllr Hopkins said: "The Lord Mayor's Honours will be a unique event because it will recognise people who have made a significant difference in Swansea, but it will also benefit Maggie's Cancer Centre, The Paul Popham Fund and The Prince's Gate - the charities I'm supporting this year."

The Lord Mayor's Summer Honours Ball, which will be a full black tie and red carpet event, will feature a gala dinner and entertainment. Money raised on the evening from an auction and fundraising will support the Lord Mayor's Charity Fund.

Tickets have been priced at £45 per person or £450 for a table of 10. They are available from JR Events and Catering by calling 01792 635253.

** A full list of the Lord Mayor Honours **

* Services to Sport

Geoff Wheel - rugby
Alan Curtis - football

* Services to Swansea Internationally

Catherine Zeta Jones

* Services to Music

Bonnie Tyler

* Services to the Arts

Nick Evans

* Services to Film

Ed Thomas - production designer
Kevin Allen - film director

* Services to media and broadcasting

Huw Edwards - BBC

* Services to Political Life

Edwina Hart

* Services to the military and defence

Thomas Simmonds
Howard Thomas
Peter Meehan
Fred Edwards

* Services to Swansea's global reputation

Swansea City FC (Huw Jenkins, Chairman)

* Services to the Community

Rachael Webb - Head Teacher, Hafod Primary School

* Lord Mayor's Choice Award

Ann Stephens

* Services to Charity

To be announced

* Services to Leisure and Tourism

Joe's Ice Cream (Paul Jones, Director)

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