TWO women who have devoted themselves to health services in Dorset are among the recipients in the New Year Honours.

Nurse Lesley Benham of Dorchester and healthcare boss Angela Dupont of Beaminster were made MBEs for their efforts.

Mrs Benham is the team leader of Melcombe Day Hospital in Weymouth and has transformed the unit over the past 10 years for people with dementia.

Her ideas have turned the hospital into a relaxing care area, according to colleagues who say Mrs Benham has a huge impact of everyone she meets.

The dementia unit provides mental stimulation and therapy through a varied programme that includes board games, musical entertainment, puppets and memory boxes.

Mrs Benham said of her MBE: “I’ve overwhelmed, surprised, excited and extremely proud.”

She said she couldn’t achieve anything without her team and said a special thank you to her husband Les, two children Simon and Shelley and her mother Jackie Allen.

Angela Dupont is a former stockbroker. She moved to Dorset with her husband Bill and two young children in 1990 but rather than relaxing she committed herself to health matters.

Mrs Dupont worked in mental and community health services in Dorset as a non-executive director, before being appointed as Chairman of Yeovil District Hospital in November 1997.

She was appointed to the role again when the hospital became a NHS Foundation Trust in 2006.

Mrs Dupont, 62, was a trustee of Weldmar Hospicecare Trust and also sat on the board of Magna Housing Association. She holds the role of Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset.

Mrs Dupont, who was made an MBE for services to healthcare, said: “I’m very honoured and humbled to receive this recognition but I couldn’t have done it without the fantastic staff I have worked with over the past 20 years.

Mrs Dupont intends to step down from her role at Yeovil Hospital in May.

Valerie Everitt of Bournemouth is awarded an MBE for her work in the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS).

An MBE also goes to Bournemouth woman Lynne Cooper for her services to the voluntary sector.

Nichola Tinkler of Shaftesbury, formerly head of business development in the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, gets an MBE for her service.

Co-founders of Poole-based Lush Cosmetics, Mark and Margaret Constantine, receive an OBE for services to the beauty industry.