Wilmslow resident honoured for services to the community

Khumi Burton 2 (1)

A Wilmslow resident has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Khumi Tonsing Burton received her honour for services to the community in Manchester and Cheshire.

Khumi, who was born in Lamka in 1948 and brought up in Imphal Manipur in India. She came to live in Wilmslow in 1976, not knowing anybody except for friends of her late husband.

Khumi started off her journey of volunteering for charities and in the community with the help of the late Betty Withworth and Joan Barnes, explaining "When you have no children it's hard to make friends of your own age but by involving this way I made a lot of friends and acquaintances not only in Cheshire but Manchester too where I became a City Magistrate and Tax Commissioner."

In 2003 she was the 1st South East Asian woman to be appointed DL. Khumi retired on her 75th birthday in 2023.

She also initiated the Portico Prize for Literature (mini Booker Prize of the North) for 3 years in Manchester and was the Team Attache for Turks and Cacos when the Commonwealth Games came to Manchester in 2002.

Khumi was Chairman of the Royal Society of St. George Greater Manchester for 6 years, where she encouraged people to be proud to be British and fly the flag of St. George on 23rd April. She even persuaded No. 10 to fly the flag.

Khumi got involved with British Red Cross Greater Manchester and Crimestopper as Chairman.

She also got involved with the Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal in Wilmslow and was later asked by Julie Dove, who had been the County Fundraiser, to look after the whole of East Cheshire. So she became the East Cheshire County Poppy Appeal Coordinator in 2013, a position she held until 2019.

Additionally, Khumi initiated the Lord Lieutenant's Young People's Poppy Award for 3 years on behalf of the Poppy Appeal in Cheshire, which recognises the contribution of young people and instigate the notion of volunteering in them.

Along with the help from some friends, Khumi also initiated the Wilmslow Street Party on Grove Street which was held on the August Bank Holiday for 9 years - bringing local residents and families together along with National and Local Charities in the North West.

One of them is Combat Stress, which was her late husband's charity for over 20 years, making sure that people are aware of the plights of young and old veterans who suffer from PTSD etc.

Because of her contribution to Combat Stress and military charities, like the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal, Khumi was nominated to be considered to the Soldiering On Awards as a Life Time Achievement recipient. At the ceremony held in London in September 2023 Khumi was declared the winner.

Speaking about her honour, Khumi told wilmslow.co.uk "I feel very very honoured and at the same time very humbled that my Country by marriage has honoured me a MBE. I am the first person from Manipur and North East India to be made a MBE. I did not seek out to be one but very pleased to receive this honour

"I am one of millions of volunteers who work tirelessly. Never dreamt that this could happen to me.

"I believe very much that one should give back to the community you came to live and be part of the fabric of the community.

"A huge Thank You to those who believed and supported me through the years."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Ian Cook
Tuesday 2nd January 2024 at 3:16 pm
Very well deserved, congratulations
Anna Meadmore
Wednesday 3rd January 2024 at 7:29 pm
Khumi certainly deserves this honour for all the work she does and has done over the years. CONGRATULATIONS!
Julie Dawn Potts
Thursday 4th January 2024 at 8:34 pm
Wow Congratulations Khumi so very well deserved- thrilled for you X

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