The Coventry Award of Merit was launched by the  Council in the 1960s.

It is a way of recognising and honouring personal behaviour that reflects the highest ideals of citizenship or outstanding performance in any field of human endeavour and which improves the good name of Coventry and inspires its residents.

The Award has previously taken the form of a citation under the Common Seal, together with a presentation of a gold medallion pendant from a ribbon in the city's colours. The motif on the medallion is the phoenix, symbolising the resurgence of Coventry from the flames of the Blitz.

Lord Mayor's office

Address: Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7697 5414 [tel:02476975414]

1966 Recipients

  • Mr Stanley Ashby, Godiva Harriers' official and former Olympic runner

  • Sir Donald Gibson, first Coventry Architect and Planning Officer

  • Professor J W Linnett FRS, Professor of Physical Chemistry at Cambridge University

  • Miss M R Paton MBE, Superintendent, St Faith's Shelter, Coventry City Council

  • Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle KBE, Inventor of the jet engine.

1970 Recipients

  • Mr Derrick H Robins, former President, Coventry City Football Club

  • Sir Basil Spence OBE, architect and designer of Coventry Cathedral

  • Sir William Lyons, President, Jaguar Cars-British Leyland UK Ltd

  • Dr H Parry Williams, former Consultant Child Specialist, Coventry Hospital Group

  • Mrs A L Galpine JP, former Chairman of Coventry Magistrates' Court and Coventry Juvenile Court

1978 Recipients

  • Rt Revd Cuthbert Bardlsey CBE, Bishop of Coventry from 1956 to 1976

  • Professor Joan Browne CBE, JP - Principal, Coventry College of Education 1948 to 1975

  • Mr Jack Jones MBE, General Secretary, Transport and General Workers' Union

  • Mr Phillip Larkin CBE, Poet and Librarian of the University of Hull

  • Mr Walter Chinn OBE, Director of Education for Coventry from 1947 to 1969

  • Sir Stanley Harley DL, industrialist, Managing Director, Coventry Gauge and ~Tool Ltd

2002 Recipients

  • Sir John Egan - For outstanding personal achievement in manufacturing industry, with particular reference to his achievement in leading Jaguar Cars Limited through industrial recession, to remain a world leader in the motoring industry.

  • Professor Sir Brian Follett - For outstanding personal achievement in academic life, with particular reference to his contribution to the development of the University of Warwick during the years he was Vice-Chancellor.

  • Canon Nerissa Jones MBE - For showing courage, selflessness and the highest ideals of citizenship through her service to the citizens and community of Wood End.

  • Canon Paul Oestreicher - For his outstanding contribution to international ministry and tireless, unconditional  commitment to peace and reconciliation worldwide.

  • Right Honourable Sir Philip Otton - For outstanding personal achievement in the legal profession, and in recognition of his appointment as one of Her Majesty's Lord Justices of Appeal in the Court of  Appeal (Criminal Division), and for his work in the National Health Service.

  • Councillor Tom White CBE - For outstanding development of social services within the City of Coventry and to disadvantaged children throughout the land at all times demonstrating the highest ideals of service, professionalism and innovation. 

2011 Recipients

  • Gary Croshaw - For outstanding personal performance and service to the West Midlands Police Special Constabulary

  • Joe Elliott - For outstanding personal contribution to Coventry City Football Club, sports and charity.

  • Professor Sudhesh Kumar - For outstanding personal achievement in the field of medical research and treatment of diabetes.

  • David Moorcroft OBE - For outstanding personal achievement and contribution to athletics.

  • Councillor John Mutton - For outstanding personal contribution and development of the International Children's Games.

  • Les Ratcliffe MBE TD DL- For outstanding personal contribution to Jaguar Land Rover whilst promoting community relations for the city.

2014 Recipients

  • Bob Ainsworth MP - For outstanding public service to the City of Coventry and its citizens as former Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council from 1989 to 1992, as Member of Parliament for Coventry North East for 22 years and as a Minister of the Crown for 13 years in Her Majesty’s Government serving as Secretary of State for Defence

  • Madeleine Atkins DL CBE - For outstanding achievement in academic life, and her contribution to the development of Coventry University during her years as Vice Chancellor including enhancing the University’s reputation as a place of national and international learning.

  • Kumar Bhattacharyya KB CBE - For outstanding personal achievement as the founder of Warwick Manufacturing Group raising the status of engineering and manufacturing in the UK and for his service to the promotion of the University of Warwick and the City of Coventry.

  • Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre - For the provision of a specialist high quality rape and sexual violence counselling support service to the citizens of Coventry undertaken with compassion and dignity to almost 5,000 women, men and children every year.

  • Courtenay Griffiths QC- For outstanding achievement in the legal profession including appearing as a defence advocate in the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

  • Tim Sawdon - For outstanding contribution to the city of Coventry during 40 years on the City Council, including his year as Lord Mayor in 2012, the year the Olympics came to Coventry, serving as a former Chair of the Housing Committee, as Leader of the Conservative Group and Leader of the Opposition and as Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Libraries.

  • Abdullah Shehu FRCP MBE DL- For outstanding personal achievement in the field of medical research including outstanding care for patients with profound neurological illness and injuries and representing the Muslim community of the city and contribution towards community cohesion.

2015 Recipients

  • Mr David L Burbidge OBE DL - For outstanding service to the economic and cultural life of the City, including his contribution to the development of Coventry Building Society, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Cathedral Development Trust and, more recently, the Royal Shakespeare Company and to the Lord Lieutenancy of the West Midlands.

  • Councillor Ann Lucas OBE - For her outstanding contribution to the city of Coventry for 20 years as an Elected Member, serving as its first female Leader of the City Council. Her work on domestic violence issues received national recognition when she was awarded an OBE in HM The Queen New Year’s Honours List 2014 and her role at the Local Government Association as Chair of the Safer Neighbourhoods Group and National Domestic Violence Champion.

  • Ms Betty McGlinchey - For her outstanding personal devotion to the children of the City of Coventry, acting as a foster carer for nearly 40 years fostering more than 1,200 children with love, care and compassion. By personal example of service to others, she has demonstrated the highest ideals of citizenship. Her work was recognised nationally by the Pride of Britain Awards 2014 as a local hero.

  • Mr Ratan N Tata GBE and Jaguar Land Rover - To recognise the investment of Tata Steel into Jaguar Land Rover to protect the status of car manufacturing in the region, the Jaguar Land Rover brand and particularly employment of its employees and many subsidy suppliers. The promotion of Coventry, through Jaguar Land Rover and its birthplace, continues to be recognised globally as well as the contribution to the Warwick Manufacturing Group and the University of Warwick.

  • Councillor Ken Taylor OBE - For outstanding contribution to the city of Coventry for nearly 30 years on the City Council, serving as Lord Mayor in 2002 and former Leader of the City Council for 6 years. He received national recognition for his services to local government, including the Local Government Association, when he was honoured with an OBE in 2010. He was a board member of Advantage West Midlands and former Chair of the Coventry Partnership.

  • The Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby - For outstanding contribution to national life and international affairs through his personal devotion to the Church of England which continues to bring credit to the City of Coventry. As former Sub-Dean and Canon for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral and now Archbishop of Canterbury the city’s message of peace and reconciliation continues to be recognised worldwide.

2019 Recipients

  • Mr Kerry Blakeman - To recognise his 30 years of dedication, commitment and complete devotion to policing in the West Midlands. This includes 15 years in Coventry and leading the operations in the city during the 2012 Olympic Games. Alongside this his pioneering work on the use of social media, becoming a key influencer internationally and advising law enforcement agencies on its huge benefits.

  • Councillor George Duggins - For his outstanding contribution to the city of Coventry and to recognise his 25 years as a City Councillor, which includes being Leader and Deputy Leader of the City Council, together with his contribution to the creation of the Job Shop and services to education and training. He is a member of the Coventry City of Culture Trust and the West Midlands Combined Authority and holds the portfolio for Productivity and Skills.

  • Mrs Jane Frankish - For her outstanding contribution and extended service for over 14 years to Foleshill and the surrounding community, particularly improving and giving life chances with extra curricula activities to over 2,000 children in her time as Headteacher at Broad Heath Community Primary School which is acclaimed nationally by a children’s author as “fizzing with positivity”.

  • Mr Roger Medwell MBE DL - For his outstanding contribution to a variety of fields in the City of Coventry but particularly the manufacturing industry, arts and culture as Independent Chair of the Culture Coventry Trust and through support to Imagineer and Armonico. He has served as a coach for the Godiva Harriers for more than 55 years and was instrumental in helping create the Coventry Godiva Wheelchair Academy. A true community ambassador and a great supporter to local charities.

  • Mr Richard Stanton MBE GM - To recognise his 25 years’ service to the West Midlands Fire Service and as a member of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team for the rescue of the youth soccer team and their coach trapped in the Tham Luang caves in Thailand, for which he received national recognition and was awarded the George Medal for his courage and bravery.