Four people from this area have been named in the New Years’ Honours list including the CEO of Nestle UK and Ireland who was made a Dame.

Tadworth resident Fiona Kendrick, who has been chairman and CEO of the UK business since October 2012, was recognised for services to the food and drink industry and skills development.

Ashtead man Rodney Bennion, lately chairman of trustees at the Construction Youth Trust, was made an OBE for services to construction training and the community.

Over in Epsom, Jennifer Brzozowska was made an OBE for services to oil and gas infrastructure and Councillor Jean Steer was made an MBE for services to Age Concern and the community.

Coun Steer, 83, who has lived in West Ewell for 25 years and sat on Epsom Council for 20 years, said she was amazed to be named in the list after her son David nominated her and six people wrote in support.

She said: “I was a bit overwhelmed. He said ‘you're an inspiration to us honestly’. I said ‘no I do it because I like people’.”

She added: “My son really feels that ordinary people like myself don’t get the acknowledgement with awards that they should.

“He said ‘it’s people like you that do things that hold the community together’.”

Coun Steer, trustee and former chairman of Age Concern Epsom and Ewell, encourages retired people to go along to social centres such as Epsom’s Wells Centre and Ewell’s Longmead Centre.

When asked what inspires her, she said: “I think it was my basic working class upbringing from a large family.

“I have always been someone who looks around and see what needs doing and bettering myself and working hard.

“There’s no good sitting at home waiting for things to happen to you, you have got to go out and look. I have always been interested in looking after my fellow man.”