FOUR unsung heroes from Warrington have been named in the Queen's Birthday honours.

The list was released on Friday with household names such as Raheem Sterling, Lulu and Rick Wakeman all honoured.

In Warrington, four unsung heroes have been recognised.

Dave McNicholl, chief executive of Warrington Youth Club has been given a British Empire Medal.

Colin Wong, from Warrington, senior professional tutor in education and faculty senior academic adviser, primary teacher education, from Liverpool Hope University has also been given a BEM for services to education.

Lymm resident Professor William Winima Denbeigh Hope has been given an OBE.

He is director at the Centre of Excellence in Infectious Disease Research.

He has been recognised for services to infectious diseases research during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And consultant breast surgeon Lester Barr, from Lymm, has been named an MBE.

Dave took on his role in the youth club in 2009 and says he is 'humbled' to be recognised.

The 44-year-old added: "I feel completely shocked and humbled. I am not someone who puts themselves in the limelight. I am very much about putting other people forward.

"So the accolade is for the staff and volunteers here.

"It is a brilliant team who go above and beyond for young people." For Dave, who grew up in Aigburth, the next 12 months will be full of excitement.

As well as the BEM, the new Warrington Youth Zone is set to open in early 2022.

Dave McNicholl outside the new youth zone

Dave McNicholl outside the new youth zone

The steel is now rising above the ground at Winwick Street.

And Dave, who started his career in north Wales, it is an ambition realised.

"In my interview for this job, we talked about starting the youth zone for Warrington," he said.

"The young people of Warrington deserve a facility like they have in Wigan and Wirral and so many other places and this one is going to be brilliant."

Since 2009 when Dave took over, 10,000 young people have completed the NCS programme, 250 mentors a year help young people from all post codes in the borough and thousands have been through the doors at the youth club.

And those numbers will increase when the youth zone opens.

Today is a moment of relief for Dave though as his big secret is finally out.

"It has been hard not telling anyone," he said.

"I have wanted to tell people and I want to know who has nominated me so I can thank them.

"I am really proud and really incredibly humbled by it."

Lester Barr, who will become an MBE founded Prevent Breast Cancer in 1996 to research the disease, as well as effective preventative interventions.

At that time, only 2% of allocated cancer research funds went into this field.

Under his leadership, the charity has raised over £11 million for research into the prevention of breast cancer.

Lester Barr

Lester Barr

In 2007, it was able to donate £2 million to build the Genesis Prevention Centre as part of the new Nightingale Breast Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital.

Lester was the surgical lead of the breast unit for many years and during this time was the joint project lead for the design and development of the new Nightingale Centre, a £14 million flagship breast treatment, research and training centre that opened in 2009.

He promoted the charity, securing coverage in over 500 news titles in the past 12 months alone, alongside national television appearances to promote the health messages gained from the research.

As Chair he has spoken at many charity events, both big and small for over 20 years, always at his own expense.

At present, Prevent Breast Cancer remains the only charity solely aimed at preventing the disease.

The money raised is used for research into genetics, early detection and screening, preventative drugs and the importance of diet and lifestyle.

The charity has sponsored ‘innumerable’ research projects over the years resulting in the publication of hundreds of scientific papers.

One project funded by Prevent Breast Cancer has seen the internationally renowned professor of medical genetics and cancer epidemiology, Professor Gareth Evans, launch a new breast screening project tailored to a person's individual risk and which it is believed could revolutionise breast screening across the UK.

Lester remains committed and driven with his vision to protect our future generations from this devastating disease, whilst continuing his work as a breast surgeon and educating future doctors in his role as Associate Dean of Clinical Skills at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester.