Shirley was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Sussex University, at a ceremony at The Dome in Brighton in July this year. She was proposed by Richard Elliott, Professor of Popular Music, and was presented with her degree by the Chancellor of the University, Sanjeev Bhaskar.
Shirley was awarded an MBE in the 2007 New Year's Honours List for Services to Music. The award was presented by HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace on May 8th 2007.
In the same year she was also made Master of the University, an Honorary Degree awarded by the Open University for Notable Contribution to Education and Culture.
Shirley is the holder of the English Folk Dance and Song Society's Gold Badge, and was elected President of the Society in 2008. After her success at the South Bank in Spring of the same year with the "Folk Roots, New Routes" series of performances she was made an Associate Artist of the South Bank.
Shirley is currently patron of South East Folk Arts Network and Folk South West.
Shirley received a Good Tradition Award at the 2008 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. It was presented to her by Graham Coxon of Blur. Along with John McCusker on fiddle, Graham sang Shirley's version of Just As The Tide Was A-Flowin' in tribute.