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Medals of Honour for Gillian Easson, Dr Paul Martin OBE and Jonathan Schofield

26 Nov 2021

Our highest Medal award was conferred on Gillian Easson, former Pro-Chancellor, Dr Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive, LGBT Foundation, and Jonathan Schofield, writer and North West tour guide, for their exceptional contributions to the University, Manchester and beyond

Medals of Honour

Gillian Easson

Over two decades, Gillian has made an outstanding contribution to our University. As a member of the UMIST Board of Governors (2000–04) and Board of the Project Unity Company Ltd she was a key figure in the successful launch of the new University in 2004 and was subsequently appointed as one of its founding governors.

Gillian was the first Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors (2009–12) and a Member of the Global Leadership Board (2012–18). In 2012 she was appointed as Pro-Chancellor of our University and, in this crucial ambassadorial and ceremonial role, has deputised for the Chancellor.

In addition to her University roles, Gillian is a former member of the Crown Prosecution Service and was one of the North West’s first female prosecuting solicitors. After previous service as a Non-Executive Director of the Christie Hospital, Gillian was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust on 1 January 2007, serving as Deputy Chair until November 2012 when she became Chair of the Trust, until her retirement from the Board on 31 May 2017. In July 2014, Gillian also became a member of the NHS Providers Board and served two years (2010-12) as a member of the Board of OFQUAL.

Dr Paul Martin OBE

Paul is Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation - a national charity delivering advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. With a history dating back to 1975, the Foundation campaigns for a fair and equal society where all LGBT people can achieve their full potential. Paul has been actively involved in the LGBT community for over 30 years. 

He is a founding member of Healthy Gay Manchester and through his determination 25 years ago, Manchester's Condom and Lube Distribution Scheme for gay and bisexual men was established, now widely recognised as one of the longest running and most highly-regarded schemes in the UK.

As a member of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Group, Paul is one of a panel of specialists working to tackle inequalities faced by lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Paul is also Chair of The National LGBT Partnership which is a network of English LGBT service delivery organisations. Paul has recently been appointed to the National LGBT Ministerial Advisory Panel – ensuring the Government meets its commitment to improving lives as set out in the landmark LGBT Action Plan. 

Jonathan Schofield

Jonathan is a writer and North West tour guide. He edits Manchester Books Limited and is Manchester Confidential editor-at-large, both of which are independent and opinionated media in the city.

He has also written several books on Manchester and the North West and has considerable experience in broadcasting both on TV and radio. Since qualifying as a guide in 1996 he has taken more than one hundred different nationalities around the North West of England including film and radio crews and journalists from every continent.

In these 25 years Jonathan has led a wide range of tours highlighting the contribution and international significance of the North West of England. These are 'warts and all' tours of this region's past, present and, where it can be guessed, future. The tours cover our campus and Manchester Metropolitan University’s. 

He believes that the landscaping that both our University and MMU has undertaken in recent years combined with the buildings has resulted in this part of the south city centre becoming arguably the most attractive of all city districts. 

The Chair of the Board of Governors, Edward Astle, conferred the Medals on Gillian, Paul and Jonathan.

Pictured: Professor Nalin Thakkar, Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Jonathan Schofield, Medal of Honour recipient, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ann Barnes, Member of the Board of Governors, Gillian Easson, Medal of Honour recipient, Edward Astle, Chair of the Board of Governors, Dr Paul Martin OBE, Medal of Honour recipient and Gary Buxton, Member of the Board of Governors