A YORK charity founder and a gypsy leader are among those to receive honorary degrees from the University of York this week.

The university is making the awards to leading figures in health, business, campaigning, economics, history, as part of its graduation ceremonies, which start tomorrow (Tuesday) and run until Friday.

Those receiving the recognition for their ‘outstanding contribution’ include Surgeon Prof Stephen Leveson, who co-founded York Against Cancer in 1987. The charity has raised more than £20m to help improve care for cancer patients in and around the city.

This has helped create a Cancer Care Centre, a Mobile Chemotherapy Unit, as well as funding for specialist clinical research nurses and oncology specialist nurses. York Against Cancer fosters collaborative research between York Hospital and The University of York.

Violet Cannon is the Chief Executive of York Traveller’s Trust. The Yorkshire-born Romany Gypsy was was brought up in a traditional Gypsy family, living roadside for most of her formative years. Violet went on to train as a youth worker, which led to different Gypsy Traveller-specific roles including researcher, author, and becoming the inaugural chair of the Northern Network of Travelling People.

Rory Cellan-Jones is a technology journalist and author. He worked as a BBC reporter for 30 years, covering business and technology stories for much of that time. He joined the BBC as a researcher on Look North in 1981, before moving to London to work as a producer in the TV newsroom and on the programme Newsnight.

Economist Professor Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Diane co-directs the Bennett Institute, where she heads research under the themes of progress and productivity.

Kate Raworth is an ecological economist focused “on making economics fit for 21st century realities,” says the university.

Lisa Unger Baskin is an historian and collector. She is an avid collector of books, manuscripts, ephemera, objects and photographs documenting women and work.

Josh Berger is an international leader in the media and entertainment industry, with over 35 years of experience. He is the former President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain.

Prof Timothy Garton Ash is an author and historian. He is a Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Finally, a honorary degree will also be awarded to Sanjay Bhandari, Chair of Kick It Out, English football’s leading equality and inclusion charity.

Sanjay is “an active and recognised thought leader in Equality, diversity and inclusion,” the university said. He was a member of the Premier League’s Equality Standard Independent Panel for four years and is part of the Government-sponsored Parker review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards.