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Managing Director at Pareto Financial Planning, John Stevenson, has been recognised for his support for cancer charities with an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

John received the award in the 2021 list which recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom. John’s fundraising efforts have helped raise more than £1 million, and he said he was stunned when he received an email about the New Year honour.

The decision about who gets an honour – and the type of honour they get – is made by a special committee. The committee’s decisions go to the prime minister and then, finally, to the Queen to check it.

John set up Man@Manchester Comedy Lunch an annual event which has been running for seven years and has raised over £750,000 for the Beechwood Cancer Care Centre. Held on the last Friday of November the event raised £130,000 in 2019 and has been supported over the years by comedians John Bishop, Paddy McGuinness, Justin Moorhouse and Jason Manford.

John is also Chairman of the Trustees for Stockport based Beechwood Cancer Care which offers support, including counselling, to those living with cancer and other life-limiting illness, as well as their relatives and carers, and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020.

Boris Johnson said the outstanding efforts of those who had received honours was “a welcome reminder of the strength of human spirit, and of what can be achieved through courage and compassion”.

Speaking about being awarded his recognition John said “I am humbled and shocked by my MBE award. Hopefully it will highlight the work that Beechwood do and help raise more money for them.”

John Understands the importance of emotional support after his mum Gwyneth died from a brain haemorrhage when he was five, and his stepmother Barbara died from cancer when he was in his 20s.

“I am honoured to receive such an award, it will keep me focused on raising more for local charities.”