By Jennifer Popplewell •
Updated: 03 Nov 2023 • 13:07
Stephen O'Connell, Credit: British Embassy Madrid
IRISH national, Stephen O’Connell, has been awarded an Honorary CBE for his contributions to the Prison Service and to charity.
Mr O’Connell is the UK’s former Deputy Director of Public Sector Prisons and Chair of Involve Kent. Hugh Elliott, the British Ambassador to Spain, presented him with the distinction at his official residence in Madrid today, Thursday November 2.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on all areas of society, including the prison service, which needed to boost staffing levels to counter the unprecedented situation. O’Connell, who is now a resident here in Cantoria, Almeria, played a national role on HMPPS’ emergency response, exhibiting strong and consistent leadership that was very much in line with the agency’s values.
In addition to his profound impact on the Prison Service, O’Connell has also dedicated his time to improving the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged people through the charity Involve Kent, of which he is the former chair.
HMA Hugh Elliott stated that, “Stephen has generously dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. This is something he has demonstrated both in his career at the UK’s Prison Service, where he has always put the needs of others before his own, and in his work at the Involve Kent charity. He is a natural leader who has the ability to inspire others around him. That is why I am delighted to present him with this well-deserved Honorary CBE”.
Stephen O’Connell, whose Honorary CBE award was publicly announced in 2022, declared, “I am incredibly proud and humbled to have been awarded an Honorary CBE by her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The award reflects over 35 years of working with so many outstanding people in prison who inspired and motivated me throughout my career. The award also reflects the tremendous work and growth of the Involve Kent team in supporting healthy connected communities particularly for older and vulnerable people. I could not have achieved what I did with the Prison Service and Involve Kent without the love and support of Imelda, my wife of 34 years, and our two children Tara and Adam”.
What an HONOUR to have such a man living here in Almeria, Spain.
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Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.
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