12:54AM, Saturday 10 October 2020
A supermarket worker who helped vulnerable customers during the pandemic, an anti-knife crime campaigner and a TV presenter and journalist are among those to receive Queen's awards in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire this year.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 was revealed tonight and gave 1,495 honours to people across the country.
The majority of the list was completed before the pandemic but it was deferred in order to consider nominations for playing crucial roles in the first few months of COVID-19. It has prioritised frontline and community heroes that went 'above and beyond' to help others.
This includes Sir Captain Tom Moore who was knighted at Windsor Castle earlier this year.
Here is who got an award in South Bucks, the Royal Borough and Slough.
Julie Siddiqi - MBE
The Slough campaigner founded Sadaqa Day - with the aim of encouraging mosques, community groups and individuals to give something back to the areas where they live.
The initiative has now been rolled out nationwide.
More recently the mother-of-four has been vocal in the community about the damaging effects of knife crime.
After the stabbing of 15-year-old Elton Gashaj, who died in a park near the town centre, Ms Siddiqi organised a walk and minute's silence for the teen.
Last month she told the Express that more needed to be done to involve community groups and provide support for families affected by the issue.
She was also a key volunteer in Slough's response to coronavirus, helping to establish a Slough branch of the national COVID-19 Mutual Aid movement.
Volunteers picked up prescriptions for those who were self-isolating and arranged dog walks for those who cannot take their pets outside.
Loraine Kelly OBE - CBE
The television presenter, who lives in Bourne End, was given an CBE for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.
Lorraine Kelly received an OBE in 2011 New Year Honours and has now been awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).
Alex Bonsu - BEM
The Waitrose customer assistant from Iver Heath set up a system which collects elderly customers' orders by email and telephone during the pandemic. These orders were then personally shopped on the customers' behalf at the Beaconsfield store before being delivered to customers on the same day.
The 49-year-old used his own network outside through his work with The Christian Eye Foundation to inspire and coordinate volunteers to arrange deliveries to these customers. More than 100 vulnerable or isolated people have benefitted from the service so far.
Kevin Baughan - OBE
Mr Baughan, from Maidenhead, is the deputy executive chair of Innovate UK - the country's innovation agency. Innovate UK is a non-departmental public body, and Mr Baughan focuses on the devlopment and delivery of the investment portfolio.
Mr Baughan also pioneered the transition to superfast broadband, migration to connected TVs and roll out of the WiFi across the London Underground ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
Dr Gurjinder Singh Sandhu - MBE
The Slough based doctor is a consultant at the Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine department at the London North West Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. It is bases at two sites - Ealing Hospital and Northwick Park Hospital. Dr Sandhu received his MBE for services to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rashida Baig - MBE
A social worker from Slough received an MBE in recognition of her work supporting families and fighting for racial equality in London.
Rashida Baig took over as Croydon Council’s head of social with families in April last year and has helped transform the service.
Ofsted inspectors found the council’s services for children and families had ‘dramatically improved’ when they carried out a visit in March, leading to a ‘Good’ overall rating.
The borough had launched a major improvement drive following an ‘Inadequate’ rating in September 2017.
Rashida, a mother-of-three, received praise for helping to reduce caseloads and the number of children needing protection plans.
An Ofsted monitoring visit in October last year also found she had significantly improved outcomes for local families.
The 57-year-old became a social worker 20 years ago after studying for her Open University degree while working part-time at Slough Borough Council.
Prior to her social work career her commitment to racial equality and social justice saw her become a research associate for the Centre for Minority Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Rashida’s work promoting racial equality has continued into her Croydon role making sure families do not suffer disadvantage as a result of institutional inequalities including their race, ethnicity, gender or immigration status.
She said: “Throughout my career I have been committed to equality of opportunity in the way we design and deliver services. Tackling racism in all its forms has been central to everything I have done as a social worker including valuing children’s heritage and identity and making sure where possible they remain in their family and communities whether in the UK or elsewhere.”
Top Ten Articles
The Royal Borough will ask Government to raise its status in the three-tier coronavirus alert system from Medium to High next week.