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One of the UK's most respected equal rights lawyers, an actor best known for his portrayal as Frank Gallagher, and the man responsible for bringing the largest bicycle race in the world to the streets of Sheffield are to be recognised with honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University this year.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is one of the UK's most distinguished lawyers. During her career she has worked on many high profile cases and has done much to campaign for equality within the profession.

Sheffield Hallam will open the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice in January which encompasses leading research in the area of human rights and a broad range of teaching and learning opportunities. She will be awarded an honorary doctorate for her services to the law and human rights.

David Threlfall, studied art at Sheffield Hallam University for a year before heading across the Pennines to study drama in Manchester.

David is probably best known for his portrayal of unemployed alcoholic Frank Gallagher in the BAFTA award winning Channel 4 drama Shameless, for which he won a Royal Television Society award. He has also directed several episodes of the show.

David is a great role model for Sheffield Hallam's own stage and screen students, and is an excellent ambassador for the arts, for which he will be awarded an honorary doctorate.

Gary Verity has been the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, since 2008. In the role

Gary led the winning bid to bring the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 to Yorkshire. Sheffield Hallam was proud to officially sponsor the event which saw millions of spectators line the city streets to watch some of the best cyclists in the world fly past in what was described by Tour director Christian Prudhomme as "the grandest of Grand Départs."

Gary will be awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the region.

Dianne Jeffrey CBE has given her time generously over the years to public health, welfare and education causes. Currently, Dianne chairs the charity AgeUK which helps inspire, enable and support older people.

Diane said: “I can’t quite believe I’ve been nominated to receive an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University. Having the opportunity to address hundreds of graduates who are about to embark upon the next chapter of their lives is a true privilege and it will most definitely be one of the highlights of my career.”

Heather Croall became the director of Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2006, turning the small UK event into an international festival.

Heather is a documentary film-maker herself, having co-produced films such as The Big Melt and Velorama, commissioned to mark the arrival of the 2014 Tour de France to Yorkshire. Heather will be awarded an honorary doctorate for services to film and culture.

Professor John Brooks has a strong connection with Sheffield, having previously been Professor of Engineering Physics at Sheffield Hallam. He is now the Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Martin Temple's connection to Sheffield comes in the form of steel. He previously worked for Avesta-Sheffield - a major steel producer and British Steel Stainless - and is currently chairman of the Design Council, the national strategic body for design industries which champions creative and intelligent design.

Chung Wei Ping has won numerous entrepreneurial and hospitality awards. He co-founded a well-known chain of Hong Kong restaurants and has devoted much of his working life to improving standards in hospitality and catering. He works closely with the University's Business School and is being awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the global hospitality business.

Ceremonies will take place at Sheffield City Hall between 10-21 November.

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