THE chair of governors at Kendal College thought her MBE was a hoax when she first heard the news.

Cath Dutton was nominated for the honour by director of governance, Carole Drury, who has worked alongside her as part of the Kendal College Board since 2001.

Ms Dutton was recognised for her services to education and training and on finding out she had received the award got her husband to check that it was genuine, according to the college.

She has acted as chair for seven years and deferred retirement in 2020 to support the college through the pandemic.

Ms Dutton is set to retire next month and will take up the role of careers hub manager for Cumbrian LEP to support employers, schools and colleges across the county.

“The college, staff and students and colleagues on the board mean a lot to me, and this should really be celebrated by every single person associated with the college, not just me,” she said.

“There are whole teams of people who have made Kendal College what it is today; every college team member works tirelessly to deliver the best experience to all our learners.

“If it wasn't for the hard work and dedication of the team, it wouldn't be as successful as it is, so this is very much recognition for the whole team.

“I'm stepping down as chair of governors next month and, although it has sometimes been challenging in addition to my day job, I will definitely miss it. I've always been passionate about training and development and have worked in this area for much of my career, which is truly a privilege."

Kelvin Nash, principal at Kendal College, said he was ‘delighted’.

He added: “I have witnessed first-hand the loyalty and respect that Cath has earned internally in her role as the Chair of the Corporation and externally in the numerous roles that Cath plays across the county, improving the life chances and opportunities for people of all ages. As Principal, I pay tribute to her and all she has achieved."