A Kingston woman was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her work leading Spirit of 2012.

Debbie Lye hails from Kingston and is the Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, an NGO aimed at carrying out the London 2012 Olympics international sport and social legacy programme.

Ms Lye received the prestigious award (Order of the British Empire) after her work as Spirit CEO was applauded for positively impacting 2.8 million people in the UK, including 40,000 volunteers.

A spokesperson described Spirit's work since Ms Lye was appointed as CEO in 2013.

Spirit of 2012 focused on "tackling inactivity, social isolation and deprivation; breaking down the barriers that limit the lives of those with disabilities; countering the disenfranchisement of young people; and uniting fractured communities," the spokesperson said.

On being awarded the OBE, Ms Lye received congratulations and praise from many of her colleagues and peers.

One was Bill Morris LVO, who has known Debbie professionally for 12 years.

Mr Morris described her as "highly principled and dedicated to driving public good through all her projects and this shone out to her colleagues, those she led and those she influenced.

"She has been a role model and a beacon to many," he said.

Pete Ainsworth, UK Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund (formerly Big Lottery), which established the Spirit of 2012 Trust, said that Ms Lye's work had been life-changing for many people in the UK.

"Under her direction the Trust has distributed funds to sporting, cultural and social causes involving the young, the old, volunteers and people with disabilities. These have been life-changing investments for many thousands of people.

"Her passion for fair play, her insight, good judgement and management skills have ensured that the Trust has fulfilled and exceeded all my original expectations," Mr Ainsworth said.

Meanwhile Baroness Sue Campbell, CBE also commented on the positive impact of Ms Lye's work.

"Debbie is the ultimate professional who has dedicated her career to ensuring that all young people receive life skills and opportunities to become the best they can be, whatever their circumstances.

"Her dedication has touched the lives of so many young people," she said.

In what amounted to a remarkably timed double-act, Debbie's daughter Amanda McLoughlin was also awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Ms McLoughlin was been awarded her OBE for her "exceptional leadership and support for the UK Government during humanitarian crises."

Ms McLoughlin served as head of the Department for International Development (DFID)’s office in Beirut between 2013 and 2017.

She helped lead the UK's response to the Syrian civil war and in particular the millions of refugees fleeing the violence, which ultimately helped 1.5 million people take refuge from the fighting in Lebanon.