Sev, left, with Johnny Vegas during the pandemic coordinating support for residents
Sev, left, with Johnny Vegas during the pandemic coordinating support for residents
St Helens Borough Council Deputy Leader, Labour Councillor Sev Gomez-Aspron, has been selected as one of 457 candidates from across the United Kingdom to receive an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2021 for services to the community of Newton-le-Willows during Covid-19.


Councillor Gomez-Aspron, who represents the Newton ward on St Helens Borough Council, set up the Newton and Earlestown Community Group in 2012 with other likeminded volunteers.

The group was recently awarded The Queen’s Award – the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK.

During the past year, the team have, among other deeds, provided for free:

  • 40,000 meals to vulnerable people
  • PPE to hospitals and care homes
  • hundreds of free school uniforms
  • 2,500 Easter eggs for local school children during lockdown

Councillor Gomez-Aspron has also worked closely with partner organisations and charities to support vulnerable residents across Newton-le-Willows and Earlestown, including the Steve Prescott Foundation, the general manager of which, Martin Blondell, has also been recognised with an MBE for services to St Helens.

Speaking of his pride on the announcement, which was published a year and a day since his Nan passed away during lockdown, Councillor Gomez-Aspron MBE said: “I am truly humbled and honoured to have been recognised in this way. I promise to wear this with pride, on behalf of a town that came together in a horribly difficult time to look after the most vulnerable members of our community in Newton-le-Willows.

“This award recognises what we achieved as a team, with partner organisations, and I will forever be immensely proud of that.

“I am a cog in a bigger machine of community volunteers. It is entirely deserved that Newton and Earlestown Community Group and our volunteers have also been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The scale of what we achieved was unique, priceless, and testament to our fantastic local community.”

Councillor Gomez-Aspron, who holds the cabinet position for reset and recovery on St Helens Borough Council, added: “The Gazette was been published exactly a year and a day since my Nan passed away during lockdown. I know that she would be proud of me, and I must thank my family, friends, and day job for giving me the love and support to achieve what we did through difficult times. I couldn’t have achieved this without their support.

“Thank you to all volunteers, community groups, residents, partner organisations and charitable causes who helped us give a helping hand to our most vulnerable residents across Newton-le-Willows at a strange point in our proud town’s history. We can always look back and be proud of what we achieved.”

For more information on the Newton and Earlestown Community Group, visit:

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