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Sheffield Girls' alumna Dianne Jeffrey appointed Dame in the King's New Years Honours list 2024

We are delighted to share the news that alumna Dianne Jeffrey, née Cantor, from the class of 1957 has been appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire, DBE in the King’s New Year Honours List. Dianne has been recognised for her services to Older People Abroad and to the community in Derbyshire. 

For more than 30 years, Dianne has made a tremendous contribution to the voluntary and public sectors across every level of society. She was chairman of the Age Uk Group, the country’s largest charity helping everyone to make the most of later life, until 2018. She also chaired Age International which helps older people in developing countries to improve their income, escape poverty, receive the right kind of healthcare and survive emergencies until April 2018, and has remained on their board as a trustee. 

Dianne is an experienced chair, trustee and non-executive director skilled in leading public sector, charitable, and commercial organisations. She served on the Heritage Lottery Fund regional committee from 2007-2013, is now a trustee of the Devonshire Educational Trust at Chatsworth and also serves as chairman of the Peak District National Park Management Plan Advisory Group. She is a former vice chair of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Board.

Since 2004, Dianne has been a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Derbyshire; she was particularly concerned about many school leavers not having the capacity to make important financial decisions. Dianne therefore launched DebtCred, a charity (now part of The Money Advice Service) whose purpose was to help school leavers understand the importance of managing their money. On behalf of the Lord Lieutenant she chaired the Derbyshire Armed Forces Covenant Board and was commissioned Honorary Colonel of the Derbyshire Army Cadet Force, Mercian Regt. in 2004. 

Dianne was Pro-Chancellor and chairman of the board of the University of Derby from 1999 until 2011. She has served as an NHS Trust chairman for 13 years and was chairman of the NHS Confederation from 2000 – 2003. Dianne is also the founder chairman of Digital Outreach Ltd, which helped vulnerable people through the digital TV switchover, and the roll-out of the 4G network. She is also a former chairman of Anchor Trust, England’s largest Registered Social Landlord for older people. 

Dianne was appointed CBE in the Birthday Honours in 2011. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Derby in 2012 and an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in 2014. 

As a school we are incredibly proud of everything Dianne has accomplished, and of her lifelong public service. Dianne said, “None of this would have been possible, I am absolutely convinced, without the strong values and ethos I learned from my very first day at Sheffield Girls’”

Congratulations, Dame Dianne!

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