Father of Molly Russell among campaigners and charity workers on New Year Honours list | UK News

The father of Molly Russell, the teenager who took her own life after viewing harmful material, has been given an MBE in the New Year Honours.

Ian Russell is among hundreds of activists, campaigners, and charity workers being recognised by the King in this year’s honours list.

He has been recognised for services to child online safety.

On what Molly would have made of his MBE, he said: “Molly was quite content to get on stage and take part in school plays, but she was a quiet person, she didn’t like the limelight, so I think she would have found this a bit strange.

“But because she was such a caring person I think she would have been tremendously proud of being able to help people who may be struggling with their mental health and may be beginning to have thoughts about suicide.

“If she thought she could help those people live long and stay strong, she’d be very proud indeed.”

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Last month, the foundation he set up in his daughter’s memory called for an end to algorithms being able to push out harmful content online.

He said: “The longer tech companies fail to address the preventable harm they cause, the more inexcusable it becomes.

“Six years after Molly died, this must now be seen as a fundamental systemic failure that will continue to cost young lives.

“Just as Molly was overwhelmed by the volume of the dangerous content that bombarded her, we’ve found evidence of algorithms pushing out harmful content to literally millions of young people.

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Elsewhere, this year’s youngest recipient of an honour is nine-year-old Tony Hudgell, who will get a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the prevention of child abuse, while the oldest is 97-year-old Jill Gladwell, who becomes an MBE for services to the Royal British Legion.

Tony also becomes the youngest person on record ever to feature in the New Year Honours.

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Boy who was abused as a baby makes honours list

He was so badly abused when he was just 41 days old that both his legs had to be amputated.

The attack by both his birth parents caused multiple fractures, organ failure, toxic shock and sepsis.

They were jailed for 10 years.

Tony Hudgell, who will get a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the prevention of child abuse in the New Year Honours. Sent in by Laura Bundock.
Tony Hudgell

Also honoured is Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, whose best friend was beaten to death by her husband, and gets a CBE for services to people affected by domestic abuse and homicide after she co-founded the Joanna Simpson Foundation

She is also the chair of domestic abuse charity Refuge.

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Ms Barkworth-Nanton said she was “deeply moved and overwhelmed” by the honour, adding it is a “testament to those many individuals who dedicate themselves to this cause, survivors of domestic abuse who bravely tell their story, and the family and friends who support them”.

Also recognised is Michelle Southern, the founder of Street Paws, a charity that provides free veterinary care for pets belonging to homeless people – she gets an OBE – while Rizwan Javed will be given an MBE, for his work on the Elizabeth Line helping save vulnerable people’s lives.

Travis Frain was visited in hospital by Prince Charles
Travis Frain was visited in hospital in 2017 by the then-Prince Charles

Travis Frain, who survived the 2017 Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, will be made an OBE for his work combatting radicalism.

He said he is “immensely proud and humbled” by the OBE, which he hopes may “shine a light” on the dedication of thousands of people around the country trying to counter violence and extremism.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “The New Year’s Honours List recognises the exceptional achievements of people across the country and those who have shown the highest commitment to selflessness and compassion.

“To all honourees, you are the pride of this country and an inspiration to us all.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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