Lord David Blunkett former home secretary awarded honorary doctorateLord David Blunkett receives an Honorary Doctorate from London South Bank University for his support for occupational health services and access to education
Right Honourable Professor Lord David Blunkett, former MP and Cabinet Minister in the government that followed Labour's landslide victory of 1997, received another accolade this week (Monday 29 October) when he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from London South Bank University (LSBU).
The presentation took place during a graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall for LSBU students graduating from the University's School of Health and Social Care (HSC) with degrees in children's nursing, adult nursing and midwifery, primary and social care, mental health and learning disabilities nursing, occupational health and allied health sciences.
David Blunkett was being honoured for his work to promote greater equality of opportunity and improved access to education, and also for his commitment to occupational health and health and safety. Among his many voluntary roles, he is Patron of the Society of Occupational Medicine.
David Blunkett is also currently Professor of Politics in Practice at the University of Sheffield and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He holds a number of voluntary sector positions, including President of the National Association for Citizenship Teaching, Patron of the Society of Occupational Medicine and Vice President of both the Alzheimer's Society and of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
After the 2001 election, David Blunkett went on to become Home Secretary and was subsequently Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He represented his native Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough constituency for 28 years.
On receiving his Honorary Doctorate, David Blunkett said: "I am honoured and delighted to be receiving this award today of an Honorary Doctorate from London South Bank University, particularly as being part of the graduation ceremony for students of health and social care touches on a subject very close to my heart.
"When my own father was killed in an industrial accident when I was twelve, we struggled. My mother was also caring for my elderly grandfather and seeing what she went through made me determined that if I ever got the chance to do something about those kinds of situations, I would. That's really what sparked my interest in occupational health and health and safety, and my belief in the importance of education.
"I have been fortunate enough to have had a career which, over time, has allowed me to make an active contribution to supporting positive developments in the fields of health and social care.
Professor Warren Turner, Dean of LSBU's School of Health and Social Care, said:"We were very honoured to have David Blunkett with us at our graduation ceremony and to be giving him this award in recognition of all the contributions he has made in his long career, towards promoting greater equality of opportunity and improved access to education and for his commitment to occupational health and health and safety."