Gordon Moore, chief executive of Northumberland-based mental health and learning disability charity, Blyth Star Enterprises, has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2020 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Gordon has been officially honoured for giving over 40 years’ service to helping thousands of people living with mental health issues and learning disabilities in the local community, and establishing much needed supported accommodation, outreach, social care and sheltered employment to improve social inclusion.

As one of the founding directors of not-for-profit Blyth Star Enterprises, Gordon has worked tirelessly over the past 30 years on behalf of individuals and their families to make a real difference and enable their voices to be heard, often at challenging times of their lives.

He established the charity in 1987 along with a small group of parents, carers and professionals with the mutual aim of raising standards of localised mental health services.

His experience, including 30 years as a psychological therapist, nurse and manager in the NHS and simultaneously 25 years working alongside the Society for Social Psychiatry and Mental Health in Greece, has led to significant improvements in the lives of many people in Greece and across Northumberland.

His drive, commitment and vision has also enabled Blyth Star to successfully develop a pathway of supported accommodation that aids people towards independent living, as well as some of the most innovative social care and sheltered work services in the UK.  These being based upon the fundamental values of, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and someone to care.

Regarding his MBE, Gordon commented, “I’m truly honoured to receive an MBE, and although it has been given to me personally, it is really an award for the many people I have had and continue to have the pleasure of working with; colleagues, the users and in particular, the staff at Blyth Star who really are the heart and soul of the organisation. They all make a huge and positive difference to so many people’s lives.

“I’m delighted and so too are my family. I’ve had an extremely privileged career that’s taken me to many places, but I’m rooted in Northumberland and the local community. It is my home and I would like to think that it would make my parents proud. My father was a miner at Ashington Colliery and my mother a local dinner lady.

“Of course, it has been emotional, difficult and overwhelming at times but it is all worthwhile, and I’m especially grateful to my wife of 30 years, Christina, for her ongoing support.  Around me are some truly inspiring people and being able to help people, with often lifelong disabilities to live, work and be a part of their local community is totally fulfilling.”

Tim Chrisp, Chairman of Blyth Star Enterprises, added, “I won’t be the only one to say that this award is thoroughly well deserved and everyone at Blyth Star offers our congratulations. Gordon has become an integral part of the organisation and has created a legacy that is held in very high regard by many, both inside and outside of the charity. It is not only his work on-the-ground however, but also his dedication, loyalty and compassion for those he works tirelessly for which is insurmountable. It’s fantastic news.”

Blyth Star Enterprises is a not-for-profit charity providing living support services, training and sheltered employment opportunities. It offers innovative day services to over 350 people living with learning disabilities and lifelong mental health issues across Northumberland and the North East.