Staffordshire graduates named in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Two recent Staffordshire University graduates have been recognised in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Aida Haughton has been awarded an MBE

We are so proud to see Aida and Corrine recognised for the positive impact that they are making in the local community and beyond. The fact that they are both recent Staffordshire University graduates is testimony to the role higher education plays in helping to make the world a better place.

Professor Liz Barnes CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

The published list recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom including Aida Haughton and Corinne Boden who have both been awarded MBEs.

Aida, who works as a housing support administrator with YMCA North Staffordshire, has been awarded an MBE for services to Remembering Srebrenica.

As a survivor of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 47-year-old has been determined to ensure people never forget the genocide committed in 1995, where thousands of predominantly Muslim men and boys were murdered and buried in mass graves.

Her work has led to a memorial garden being created at the YMCA in memory of the victims, along with several commemorative events in the Potteries.

Aida completed a degree in BA (Hons) Modern and International History this year with her dissertation exploring the experiences of translators in the Bosnian War, having worked as a translator throughout the event herself.

During her studies, she also arranged for young people from North Staffordshire and members of the University community to visit Bosnia and get involved in projects which challenge hatred and prejudice.

Aida said: “One does not do charity work for a reward, but to do good, so getting an MBE for the work that helps both individuals and communities was a very humbling and a proud moment, not just for myself and my family, but for the Remembering Srebrenica and the YMCA North Staffordshire charities without whose support my work would not have the impact we see today.

“Though many people do not realise, hate speech and classification to ‘us’ and ‘them’ represent one of 10 steps of genocide, so as a Bosnian war survivor I use my experiences in raising awareness on harms of hate and discrimination. The army of volunteers, individuals and community groups I have met over the years taught me so much and I feel privileged that together we continue to do good, no matter how big or small.”

Corrine Boden graduated with a degree in BA (Hons) Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice last year and has been awarded an MBE for services to the community.

Corrine has led Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank, turning it into one of the top 20 foodbanks across the whole of the Trussell Trust’s 1,250-strong network. During the coronavirus crisis, record numbers of families have turned to the organisation for support.

She is described as ‘an exceptional person who is passionate in her desire to help all those in need’. Corinne has also helped to coordinate a citywide response with the local authority and voluntary sector during the pandemic, delivering essential food.

Corrine said: “I am truly honoured to accept this MBE, and do so on behalf of the volunteers, donors, trustees and staff, whose committed support have made it possible to continue our vital services to local people during this demanding time.

“I’m just a normal person from a humble beginning – if this can happen to me it can happen to anyone.”

Commenting on the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Liz Barnes CBE DL said: “We are so proud to see Aida and Corrine recognised for the positive impact that they are making in the local community and beyond. The fact that they are both recent Staffordshire University graduates is testimony to the role higher education plays in helping to make the world a better place. We wish to add our heartfelt congratulations on the awarding of these honours which are richly deserved.”

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