Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.


Thames21 Trustee Receives MBE

Celia Hensman, founder and trustee of environmental charity Thames21 has been made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her outstanding services to improve the River Thames, as well as her work with children’s organisations and wider health issues.

Thames21 is delighted that Celia’s unswerving commitment to improving the health of the River Thames has been recognised. Thames21’s Chief Executive Debbie Leach said: “Celia’s vision is not just of a cleaner Thames, but also of a riverside environment that is used, enjoyed and accessible to all.  She has helped to shape and deliver Thames21’s aim to work with communities to create clean, safe and sustainable waterside environments for all.”

Celia began her career in the civil service after graduating from Cambridge and the London School of Economics. Following periods working as a social / research worker in prisons and psychiatric hospitals in this country and abroad, she held many senior civil service posts and served on a wide range of committees. After her retirement from the Department of Health in 1994, she has dedicated much of her time to furthering the environmental work of Thames21

Celia said: “I’m completely taken aback but thrilled to be honoured in this way.  With no legal responsibility on any organisation to clear litter, like those ever-present shopping trolleys, Thames21’s clean up work on London’s rivers and canals is absolutely vital.  When it comes to improving the health of our waterways, Thames21 is making an enormous difference with its partner organisations and deserve our fullest support.”

The Honours List has a distinctly voluntary flavour this year, with 60% of the Queens Birthday awards going to people involved in the charitable sector – particularly fitting as 2005 is the Year of the Volunteer.


For interviews, photographs and information contact Leigh McAlea on 020 7213 0166 / 07875 250 284

Notes to editors

  1. Thames21 is an environmental charity working with communities to create clean, safe and sustainable waterside environments on Greater London's rivers, tributaries and canals.
  2. Thames21 removes and prevents litter as well as improving the overall biodiversity and use value of Greater London’s rivers and canals.
  3. A team of 16 staff delivers a wide range of projects throughout Greater London with all sections of the community including: clean ups; habitat enhancements; waterside art installations; education work;