NHS workers, a bus service employee who kept public transport running during the pandemic and a veteran fundraiser are among the Dorset people included in the Queen's Birthday Honours announced today.

This year’s awards were focussed on key workers and NHS staff for their hard work and dedication during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The list is usually published when the Queen celebrates her official birthday in June. However it was postponed so it could include those who who had key roles in the coronavirus outbreak.

Dorset recipients include Tony Greenham, 84, from Beaminster who is awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community, particularly his involvement with the local branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL).

Mr Greenham has been involved with the RBL for more than 40 years and has helped to raise more than £50,000 for local charities by arranging an annual brass band concert at St Mary's Church in Beaminster.

He said this year will be the first time in 42 years that the concert, featuring the popular Fairey Band of Stockport, will not be able to go ahead due to Covid restrictions.

Armistice Day will also be very different this year as Mr Greenham explained there will be a 'very low key event' in The Square with the 52 names of the fallen read out, a two minute silence, and The Last Post and Reveille.

"It's very, very sad that this has to happen but we can't have crowds because of what's happening," said Mr Greenham.

He got involved with the Legion after finishing his National Service in 1958 when he served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in Germany.

Mr Greenham said he was very honoured to receive the BEM and said he and wife Margaret, who was made an Honorary Townsperson of Beaminster in 2014, had worked as a team over the years.

Also receiving the BEM are Aaron Sparks from Weymouth, a scheduler with First buses, for services to transport during Covid-19, David Sales from Bridport, for services to commercial fishing and the marine environment in Lyme Bay, and Pauline Holt, for services to the community in Thorncombe.

Minerva Klepacz, a matron of Ophthalmology and BAME Network Lead at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, also receives the BEM for her services to nursing during the Covid-19.

The 41-year-old, who was born in the Philippines, has been a nurse in Bournemouth for 18 years, working in many departments before becoming an influential leader of the Eye Unit.

Minerva, who has lost 11 friends during the Covid pandemic, said that she dedicated her award to her colleagues and all the NHS colleagues who have lost their lives during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Matthew Knight from Stalbridge in north Dorset is made an MBE for his services to the NHS particularly during Covid-19.

The respiratory consultant at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is currently working on projects in virtual/remote patient care whilst undertaking a sabbatical in Valencia, Spain.

Other Dorset people to be made an MBE are Rev Canon Tim Biles of Sherborne for services to the Church, and George Rawlinson of Blandford, chairman of the National Water Safety Forum and lately Operations and Safety director and the RNLI. His award is in recognition of his services to maritime safety.

Maze creator Adrian Fisher gets an MBE for his services to international trade and the creative industry.

Mr Fisher, from Blandford, has produced more than 700 mazes in 42 countries since 1979.

He has taken the concept of the maze from the traditional classic hedge maze through dazzling mirror mazes, stunning water mazes to technology driven maze hybrids. In doing so, he has delighted millions of visitors to attractions ranging from castles and palaces to zoos and theme parks, including Blenheim Palace and Legoland.

“This is truly a lovely and exciting honour and I am so humbled to be recognised, especially during this tough time. I find that, every time one person gets recognised in the creative industry, it’s a pat on the back for many others in the field.

“This honour is a salute to people in the creative sector during a tough time – the sector in Britain is the best in the world.”