Students Staff

31 December 2014

New Year's Honours recognise achievements

Elaine Dixon with current and former nursery children

Elaine Dixon with baby Lena Ioannidou and former nurserygoer Lucy Totman.

The co-founder of the confidential listening service Nightline, which started at Essex 44 years ago, and the long-serving former manager of the University of Essex Day Nursery have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours. A former Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies becomes a Dame.

Professor Geoffrey Hosking, who taught at the University for 18 years until 1984, is awarded the OBE for services to higher education and students. He was instrumental in establishing the world’s first Nightline service. Run by students for students, it was established at the University of Essex in 1970.

Working with Anglican Chaplain Malcolm France, Professor Hosking trained a group of students to provide emotional support to their peers and they started operating the night-time service to meet needs when other services were closed.

While Nightline was established at Essex, it has benefited higher education across the UK and the world. It has expanded to operate at more than 90 institutions in the UK and Ireland with more than 2,100 specially trained volunteers. Nightlines also run in Europe , America and Australia. Nightline has links with the Samaritans, local drug and alcohol services and first aid providers, allowing it to provide a non-judgemental listening and information service and to provide referrals when students need more specialist help.

Elaine Dixon, who managed the University of Essex Day Nursery for 36 years, is awarded the British Empire Medal for services to higher education and charitable fundraising. She developed the Day Nursery from a small term-time only facility into a highly-rated purpose-built year-round nursery for 120 children from more than 30 nationalities.

Elaine, who retired in July, worked tirelessly to create a model of excellence in which staff, students and members of the public had confidence that their children were being cared for in a safe, positive and engaging learning environment.

Professor Marina Warner, who left the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies earlier this year, becomes a Dame for services to higher education and literary scholarship.

Alumni honours

Essex alumna Annemarie Naylor, who lives in Wivenhoe, has been given an MBE for services to community asset ownership. Ms Naylor works with the Locality charity and helps groups across the country giving advice and support as they bid for community buildings such as pubs and libraries to keep them open.

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