A COMMUNITY hero with a a longstanding record of almost 40 years of community service has been honoured in the New Year's Honour's list with MBE

Barbara Rounsevell, 61, (known as Babs) from Truro was given her honour for services to the community in Cornwall.

In 2014 she formed a Community Interest Company, "CHAOS" (Community Helping All Of Society) in the wider Cornwall area which is still active.

In 2015 she was pivotal in establishing the first "Community Fridge" in Cornwall whereby food unused by an individual or a family is given to people in need. It is currently located in Truro and is free to use.

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than simply closing the Community Fridge, she developed ‘Food2Share’ working with local supermarkets, food manufacturers, catering suppliers and shops to divert food from going to waste.

It has an innovative distribution mechanism in which delivery people are given a box of fresh food for themselves as an incentive and then required to deliver on their route home. This support is provided to those who were self isolating, shielding, in rural areas, or without transport.

During the Covid-19 pandemic some 750 families a week throughout Mid and West Cornwall were provided with free food boxes.


Malcolm Bell

Malcolm Bell

Also given an MBE was Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive, Visit Cornwall for services to tourism in South West England, in particular during Covid-19

The 66-year-old from Truro has been Chief Executive of VisitCornwall Destination Management Organisation and Tourist Board for over a decade, and before that led the South West Tourism Board.

His citation says in that time he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the county’s significant tourism industry to raise its profile internationally, and further the Government’s strategic aims such as increasing productivity, addressing the challenge of seasonality, and promoting sustainable tourism options in the region.

"Under his leadership, VisitCornwall led the Cornwall & Devon Discover England Fund project, which developed and promoted heritage, genealogy and culture-focused itineraries targeting high-value American and Australian markets.

"The project, which brought together partners including Flybe, Great Western Railway, and Newquay Airport, as well as other South Western DMOs, also trained and upskilled businesses in working with international markets.

"During the Covid-19 Pandemic, VisitCornwall were instrumental in establishing a regional group bringing together business leaders from across the South West, which met weekly to share intelligence and concerns with VisitEngland and Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport representatives over the lockdown and in the run-up to reopening - including results from business impact surveys which were used to strengthen funding cases, evidence of visitor crowding in coastal resorts, and the region’s key asks of the Government.

"He has worked tirelessly to disseminate the latest information on support available, guidance updates, and initiatives like VisitBritain’s We’re Good to Go industry standard to the SMEs and other businesses that make up Cornwall’s visitor economy. The organisation has moved its regular business training seminars online, working with other local partners, including the Growth Hub, to ensure vital information reaches as wide an audience as possible - across six webinars, VisitCornwall saw more than a thousand businesses attend.

● He also played a key role in securing the Carbis Bay Hotel site for the G7 Summit, and worked with the Cabinet Office G7 Taskforce to source accommodation for the delegations attending the event.

● VisitCornwall have also developed a legacy plan for the event to ensure it achieves its full potential for growing international tourism to the area, and delivering long-term economic and social benefits.

● Visit Cornwall have been using their partners to find ways of increasing sustainability in the tourism sector.

Also given an MBE was Pawlet Brookes St Mawes

The 58-year-old is the founder and artistic director of Serendipity Arts UK Ltd and the award was given for services to the arts mainly in the Midlands.