Chichester star among Queen's New Year Honours

Actress Patricia Routledge and homeless charity Stonepillow CEO are among those recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Patricia Routledge EMN-160902-113927001
Patricia Routledge EMN-160902-113927001

Chichester resident Patricia Routledge has been awarded DBE for her services to theatre and charity.

Chichester has been Patricia’s home for many years, where she has remained a passionate supporter of the arts and has enjoyed a successful relationship with Chichester Festival Theatre.

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Talking about the city’s theatre in a former Observer article, Patricia said: “I first came here to perform in 1969, but I had been brought down to see it when it was still in the process of being built.

C150359-3 Chi Stonepillow Opening phot kate Sylvie Johnston, Chief Executive.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C150359-3 SUS-151218-143605003

“They didn’t insist on hard hats in those days, but I remember tramping over wood shavings and wires

“And I just couldn’t believe it. So many people couldn’t believe it. It really was the most amazing achievement especially when you think of the opposition (CFT founder) Leslie Evershed-Martin had when he first voiced the idea – and then everyone thought he was absolutely out of his mind when he had the idea of asking Laurence Olivier to start the company.

“Leslie Evershed-Martin had passion and vision, and he had a dogged determination and belief that it really could be done.”

Patricia was last at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2014 in Oscar Wilde’s ‘An Ideal Husband’.

Former general manager at Chichester Festival Theatre, Paul Rogers, was thrilled at the news.

He said: “It is wonderful news I am very excited about it.

“I have been calling her Dame Patricia for years – it is about time.”

Sylvie Johnston, CEO of homeless charity Stonepillow has been awarded an MBE for services to the community in Chichester and Arun.

Stonepillow offers shelter, information and support to empower homeless and vulnerable individuals to make positive changes in their lives.

When Sylvie Johnston announced in February this year she would be retiring from CEO of Stonepillow after 14 years in the organisation, she said: “Stonepillow is an amazing charity that puts the welfare of homeless and vulnerable individuals at the heart of everything we do, at the same time as offering a valuable service to the community.

“I would like to thank all our staff for their hard work and commitment, and our army of volunteers and supporters who are central to our continuing success.”