Mete Coban and Hatice Hasan awarded MBEs in New Year Honours list

Youth democracy champion Mete Coban and plumbing entrepreneur Hatice Hasan are among the1,097 people named in the newly unveiled New Year Honour’s list.

The pair, both of Turkish Cypriot origin, are set to receive an MBE – the Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Mete Coban MBE – a role model for young people in politics

The founder and chief executive of My Life, My Say (MLMS) Mete Coban is honoured for his “services to young people”.

He tweeted online that he was “incredibly humbled to receive an MBE in the New Years [sic] Honours list”, adding that he is “proud of my team’s work this year, and thankful to everyone for their support over the years.”

The 27-year-old first made waves when aged just 21, becoming the youngest elected councillor in the East London borough of Hackney. The Labour councillor for Stoke Newington ward said he stood for office when he reallsed ‘the average age for councillors was over 60’.

Since then, Mete has been at the forefront of stimulating young people’s engagement in politics. His charity MLMS set up the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People, and is also recognised as contributing to the increase of turnout for young people at the 2017 UK General Elections.

The charity holds democracy cafes across the country, and continues to press for better representation of young people.

In 2018, Mete received the UK Government’s National Democracy Change-Maker of the Year Award.

Last month, the young politician and strategist was also presented with a national Councillor of the Year award from the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), for his work chairing a commission examining skills, growth and the economy in the borough.

Earlier this year, he was shortlisted for One Young World Politician of the Year 2019, which celebrates the most impressive, impactful, young politicians around the world.

Previously, Mete worked on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s election campaign, leading on youth engagement.

Alongside his role in politics, he has worked for Arsenal & Southampton FC as a football scout for their respective youth departments.

Hatice ‘Hattie’ Hasan MBE – a pioneer tradeswoman

The founder and chief executive of Stopcocks Hatice Hasan has said she is “chuffed to bits’ after learning she is being honoured for “services to women in the heating and plumbing industry”.

The 58-year-old former school teacher has been beating the drum for more qualified female plumbers in Britain for years, after retraining as a plumber and failed to get hired due to discrimination faced by tradeswomen back in 1990.

The Londoner, who now lives in West Yorkshire, was forced to become self-employed when no one wanted to recruit a female plumber. She set-up her own plumbing business Stopcocks and reached out to other women, who were similarly struggling to get paid work after qualifying as plumbers.

The path hasn’t been easy, but by 2011, Hattie and her team had created “the first national network of self-employed women plumbers and heating engineers ever, anywhere”.

She rebranded the business Stopcocks Women Plumbers, giving a badge to any woman plumber or heating engineer who is registered through their franchise scheme. Stopcocks members are all fully qualified plumbers, “trained in delivering excellent customer service’. Each one “has received additional training so that she understands diagnosis and systems”, and who can also draw on over 20 years of skill and expertise offered by Hattie and her team when they need a second opinion.

Today the Stopcocks network stretches down from London to Dorset, across to Kent and Hertfordshire, and up to the Calder Valley in Yorkshire.

In September 2017, Stopcocks organised the first Women Installers Together event, hosting female plumbers and heating engineers from all over the UK. Some had never met another woman installer before.

The event attracted the interest of plumbing manufacturers who contacted Stopcocks keen to help drive up the number of female plumbers and gas engineers. Within a few years this conference, now supported by leading industry partners, has grown into the only event of its kind on the plumbing calendar.

While the number of women in the industry have increased, the overall figures remain among the lowest in Europe. Estimates suggest that just 500 of the 100,000 registered gas engineers in Britain are women.

“My dream is to create a legacy so there will be a strong movement and more women to work within it when I’m gone”, the plumbing entrepreneur told Kerem Hasan in an interview for Cyprus Today last year.

However, Hattie Hasan isn’t content with just a UK legacy. Her work has spread beyond Britain’s borders as she seeks to create access to clean water for all.

She states on the Stopcocks website: “It’s really always been about the same thing – Water. We can’t live without it.”

In 2015, Hattie visited Kenya to investigate how to help local people to preserve water and use plumbing in drought conditions. She helped design a new rainwater harvesting system that collects 40,000 litres of usable water, while also training locals to become plumbers.

About the New Year Honours List

The New Year Honour’s list recognises “the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom”. Around three quarters of all awards are for work in the community.

The tradition of naming members of British society for an award dates back to the nineteenth century, with the honours presented by or in the name of the Queen. However, approval for the awards is by the British government, which in turn is advised by 12 people who sit on the main awards selection committee.

Each year, chairs for each of the various specialist honours committees, usually an independent expert, oversee the assessments of numerous applications from members of the public on who should receive an award. The final list is submitted to ministers and then to the Queen, before being made public late in December.

In its breakdown of this year’s New Year honours, the Cabinet Office states that women are the recipient of 556 awards (51%), while 9.1% have been awarded to those from black and other ethnic minority communities.

Nadiya Hussain MBE is one of 556 women (51%) to be honoured, while BAME community forms 9% of all recipients

Among the high-profile names being honoured in 2020 are singer Oliver Newton-John who is made a dame for services to music, cancer research and charity, and Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith, who has endeared himself to British Turks as a vocal supporters of direct flights to Ercan, and is knighted for his services as a politician.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor and England cricketer Ben Stokes are both made an OBE, while TV personality and cook Nadiya Hussain is given an MBE.

The full list can be seen here.