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Five new Deputy Lieutenants have been appointed by the Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Mrs Johanna Ropner, with Her Majesty the Queen’s agreement.
The new appointments will assist the Lord Lieutenant in her duty as HM the Queen’s official representative across North Yorkshire – the largest Lieutenancy area in the country.
With the five new appointees, North Yorkshire will be served by 43 Deputy Lieutenants. Drawn from various locations, backgrounds and disciplines, they all demonstrate overriding commitment to their communities.
The three men and two women who have been appointed are listed alphabetically with brief details of some of their achievements and activities.
Helen Collin: Helen was brought up in Newcastle and North Yorkshire and read History at the University of East Anglia. She started her career at HSBC, working in both London and New York as an equity analyst. Following this, Helen was a founding director, and latterly CEO, of Investis, a digital communications company. Helen is now Group Chief Operating Officer of Brunswick Group, a global critical issues advisory firm. In addition, Helen is a Non-Executive Director of two investment trusts and is Chair of the Investment and Audit Panel for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. She is married with two teenage children.
The Very Reverend John Dobson: Dean John was appointed Dean of Ripon in June 2014. This followed 25 years of Ministry in the Durham Diocese, serving as parish priest, Area Dean and a member of many diocesan committees. He serves on the Leeds Diocesan Board and the Bishops’ Strategy Group. Whilst at Ripon, Dean John has led an innovative strategy resulting in growing the congregation together with the development of the Cathedral as a centre of heritage, pilgrimage and tourism. Dean John grew up in Yorkshire and studied Theology at Durham University. He is a Trustee of St Michael’s Hospice and Ripon Cathedral Development Campaign. He is also Chair of Ripon Together, a community interest company, furthering community partnership. He is married with two grown-up children.
Dr Harry Gration MBE: Harry has enjoyed a career of more than 40 years with the BBC, initially as a sport and news reporter for Radio Leeds through to his current role of presenting the northern regional evening news programme. During his career, Harry has covered nine Olympic Games, various Commonwealth Games, Football World Cups, Wimbledon and the Open (Golf). In 2013, Harry was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to broadcasting. Harry is increasingly involved in charitable work, notably being Patron of St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield, and the Cavendish Centre, Sheffield. He is also an ambassador for Help the Aged in Leeds. Over recent years, Harry has helped in the raising of more than £1million for Sports Relief. His pursuits in aid of Sports Relief have included riding a tandem around the Tour de Yorkshire cycle route, a 139-mile three-legged walk around Yorkshire and, more recently, pulling a sofa around Yorkshire.
Christopher Legard: After leaving school, Chris worked for an accountancy firm in Hull before joining Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC). During his time with PWC, Chris worked in the audit and corporate finance departments, spending time in PWC’s offices in Leeds, London and Boston (USA). In 1997, Chris left PWC and founded the online retailer, Joseph Turner. Chris now lives at and manages Scampston Hall near Malton, a diverse rural estate with business interests including tourism, agriculture and property. Chris is currently serving as High Sheriff of North Yorkshire 2018/19. Chris has served as a Governor of Aysgarth School and is currently Deputy Chairman of the York Minster Fund, the purpose of which is to raise funds for the preservation and restoration of York Minster. Chris is married with two children.
The Countess Charlotte Peel: Since marrying and moving to Yorkshire in 1989, Countess Peel has been involved in charity work both nationally and locally. Charlotte was appointed to the Council of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in 1999. She is a trustee for a number of charitable organisations, including the Lord Barnby Foundation, a grant-giving trust, Herriot Hospice Homecare and Countryside Learning, which seeks to connect children and their teachers to the countryside. Charlotte is also a Patron of Streets of Growth, based in Tower Hamlets, a leading youth intervention charity. She volunteers weekly at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Ripon as an advisor. In 2015, Charlotte was appointed Honorary Air Commodore to 607 Squadron (County of Durham) RAuxAF based at RAF Leeming.