Four outstanding West Midlands Deputy Lieutenants announced

Dave Heeley carrying the Queens Baton during the relay in advance of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

The Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands has announced four new Deputy Lieutenants whose backgrounds range from education to support for young people.

The West Midlands is the second largest Lieutenancy in the country and the Deputy Lieutenants get involved in many initiatives to support the community and recognise the people who make a difference to others. The four appointments bringing the total number of Deputy Lieutenants in the Midlands to 75.

The appointments are:

  • 'Blind' Dave Heeley OBE, who, despite losing his sight, has taken up a number of extreme challenges. He was the first blind person to accomplish 7 marathons in 7 days across 7 continents. He has participated in 16 London Marathons, 18 Great North Runs, the Marathon De Sables and a 90 mile walk along Hadrian’s Wall.

    Dave was named BBC West Midlands Sports Personality of the Year in 2008 and received an Honorary Doctorate from Wolverhampton University in 2011. In 2012 he was made Freeman of the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell and in 2014 David Cameron gave him the 80th Points of Light Award. Dave received a Pride of Britain Award for fund-raising in 2017 and an OBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
  • Owen Everton Burke OBE, FCFE has been in leadership positions in education for over 30 years. He is currently the Chairman of Burton & South Derbyshire College, the Vice Chair of for Trustees for AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group and the Vice Chair of Trustees for the YMCA Heart of England.

  • Kevin Roy Davis MBA is Group Chief Executive of The Vine Trust Group that is a multi-million pound turnover group of social enterprises focused on education, employment and engagement of young people.

    Kevin has worked tirelessly to support and help young people, often from challenging backgrounds to get into work and to make a difference with their lives. He has actively participated in many groups to improve opportunities for young people, including those that encourage diversity and support black young people to reach their potential.

    He was the Founder of St Matthews’ Education Campus in Walsall in 2022 and was the Diversity & Inclusion Winner in 2020 at the Business Desk West Midlands Leadership Award and is a Board Member of the West Midlands Regional Leadership Board.
  • Lesley Wilde is an innovative networker and strategic communications specialist, running her own agency, Wilde Thing Strategic Communications, PR and Events with a track record supporting public sector campaigns. She has had leading communications roles for Atkings, WRAP, the Royal British Legion, the Ministry of Defence and Scope.

The Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands, Sir John Crabtree OBE, said the appointments are being announced as the West Midlands celebrates its existence for the last 50 years and reflects the forward-thinking and community spirit across the region. He said:

“I’m proud of what has been achieved in the region over the years and I’m excited by the new projects and activities that are taking forward the West Midlands.

"It is heart-warming to see so many people giving so much of themselves to help others and these new Deputy Lieutenants are some of the terrific people we have here that are making such a difference to our community.

"I know they will complement the existing Deputy Lieutenants and help our activities that include community initiatives recognising at every level the people who devote their lives to improving those of others.”

The West Midlands Lieutenancy comprises Birmingham, Coventry Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton and was established in 1974.


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