West Yorkshire retail guru receives MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours

Kate Hardcastle
Kate Hardcastle

West Yorkshire's Kate Hardcastle has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to business.

Kate, who has her family home in West Bretton, has received an MBE.

Lorraine Long

Lorraine Long

She has been recognised throughout her career with 26 National and International Awards including the public voted Yorkshire Business Woman of the Year, and recently received the Yorkshire Society’s award for Yorkshire Media Personality of the Year 2018.

As a consumer champion, she has given advice and expertise on TV shows like ITV’s Eat, Shop, Save and Rip Off Britain, which is the BBC’s flagship consumer show.

Kate is a regular commentator on Sky News and the BBC on consumer issues.

She also champions businesses in the Halifax and Brighouse area.

Kate has worked for non-profit causes since the age of 11 and donates 20 per cent of her businesses time to charity and community causes, particularly in the local community.

Much of this work has been delivered in partnership with Welcome To Yorkshire and has supported over 1000 Yorkshire start-up and microbusinesses with free workshops and seminars.

In 2016, Kate was presented with a Point of Light Award from the Prime Minister in recognition of her charitable work, particularly the creation of the Positive Image campaign established to support young people with a crisis in confidence.

Kate believes that this is a win not just for her, but for the causes that she supports.

She said: “I am humbled to receive such recognition from the Queen.

“I would like to thank all of my family and friends who support me in my passion for business and charitable causes and my wonderful fellow volunteers at the charities and community projects I support. I am delighted in my role as a trusted voice in the media providing real insight into what is happening in the world of business.

“I hope to use this award to shine a greater light on the causes I champion.”

Kate has wowed audiences globally including Australia, USA, Dubai and Pan-Europe speaking to audiences of up to 10,000 entrepreneurs in world-famous venues.

She has delivered keynote speeches alongside the likes of former POTUS Bill Clinton, Joanna Lumley and Dame Tanni Grey Thompson.

Meanwhile, Wakefield-based foster carer Lorraine Long is to receive an MBE for her services to children and families.

The 58-year-old has been a foster carer with Leeds City Council for 36 years, during which time she has provided care for over 300 children.

Mrs Long said she was “pleased and nervous" when she received the letter three weeks ago.

She believes that her husband, former foster children and social services all nominated her for the honour.

During her time as a carer, Mrs Long has had experience in everything from caring for groups of siblings to teaching teenage mothers how to care for their newborns.

She sets high ambitions for the children she fosters and motivates them to succeed; some of her proudest memories have been seeing children achieve their goals.

Mrs Long has been commended for supporting those in the most difficult situations.