• York Rotary

Congratulations to Hannah Mills OBE and Yvonne Copley MBE

Updated: Jan 8

Eileen reports...

In the 2022 New Year’s Honours Lists, it was pleasing to read of the success of two women well known to York Rotary.

Hannah Mills was awarded an OBE (which overtakes her MBE), recognising her service to sailing and the environment. The Officer of the British Empire is awarded to an individual who has made major contributions at local level, or whose work has gained a national profile.

Hannah is the Grand-daughter of Ewen Cameron, the former President of York Rotary and 1040 District Governor. Winner of three Olympic Sailing Gold Medals, in London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, Hannah was the Guest Speaker at my President’s Dinner in March 2017.

In the presence of Ewen and her Grandmother, Sylvia, she gave an inspiring account of her hard road to what were then her two Gold successes; at the same time, she alluded to her disgust of the pollution in the seas upon which she sails.

Since her third Gold success and her retirement from Olympic sailing, she has become the International Olympic Committee Sustainability Ambassador and has recently launched “The Big Plastic Pledge”, an athlete movement to change the way single use plastic is used in and beyond sport.

There is more about Hannah's new "Sustainability" role in this BBC article


The Founder of KYRA, Yvonne Copley was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to women and the community of York. The Member of the British Empire is awarded to an individual for outstanding achievement or service to the community which has had a long-term, significant impact.

Yvonne initially determined to run a drop-in centre twice per week. She had identified a significant gap between crisis medical intervention and services to help patients return to normal lives. She then extended her remit to any women needing help and support.

She was determined to create a safe space for women to rebuild their lives, connect with others, learn new skills and increase their confidence and self-esteem. Her vision and powers of persuasion built KYRA into the successful charity it is today, staffed mainly by volunteers and having a membership of over 1,300.

Yvonne retired in September 2020, after 7 years at the helm of her “baby”.

We have written to both women, congratulating them on behalf of York Rotary.

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