Spen man in New Year’s Honours

PROUD MOMENT Sergeant Major Mark Hill, who is from Cleckheaton, is to become a MBE.
PROUD MOMENT Sergeant Major Mark Hill, who is from Cleckheaton, is to become a MBE.

A serviceman and former Whitcliffe Mount School pupil will become a MBE for his commitment to getting young people back into work.

Cleckheaton-raised Sergeant Major Mark Hill, 45, of the Yorkshire Regiment Army Reserve, was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2015.

He left the town in 1987 to join the forces, serving for 23 years, after which he became the Army’s youth engagement officer.

Sgt Maj Hill, who is based at Catterick Garrison, said: “The idea is to get young people back into work and at the same time tell them all about the Army Reserve.”

Working with businesses and Jobcentre Plus, this is achieved through courses such as Be The Best, which teaches teamwork, leadership, problem solving and core skills.

Over the last 11-12 months, 57 people aged 18-24 were employed after the course. “Young men and women are shaking my hand saying ‘You’ve changed my life,’” said Mark.

Mark’s wife Wendy, 41, and sons Jordan, 14, and Nathan, 11, are delighted with him becoming a MBE. When the honours are handed out, Sgt Maj Hill has the choice to go to Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. 
He said: “I think it’s only right to go to Buckingham Palace.
“It’s fantastic, absolutely amazing. When I think about my roots – a boy from Cleckheaton. It’s a really proud moment.”