politics

New Years Honours List – Unsung coronavirus heroes honoured by Queen


Covid heroes have been rewarded for their roles in the pandemic battle.

There were 231 people named in the honours – 18.6% of the total – for their services during the crisis, while public sector staff such as medics, teachers and firefighters make up 14.8% of the list.

Pilot Captain Emma Henderson becomes an MBE for setting up first class lounge experiences in 80 hospitals for tired NHS workers, using furloughed airline staff.

She said: “We were just there to wrap our arms around the NHS.”

Special Chief Officer Mark Owen is made an MBE after coming out of retirement to lead the Covid response in North Wales.

Mr Owen, from Llanynys, oversaw volunteers delivering prescriptions and food parcels.



Pilot Emma Henderson on Findhorn Beach near her home in Moray, Scotland
Pilot Emma Henderson, who has been awarded an MBE for services to charity during Covid-19



Special Chief Officer Mark Owen
Special Chief Officer Mark Owen came out of retirement to lead the Covid response in North Wales

Numbers of special constabulary officers doubled to almost 200 under his watch.

Former palliative care nurse Catherine Fitzsimmons receives a BEM after being one of the first to come out of retirement to help in hospitals in Greater Manchester.

Shelter housing officer Nadeem Khan also won a BEM for helping people from his laptop on a roof in Lahore after getting stuck in Pakistan.



Former nurse Catherine Fitzsimmons came out of retirement to help in hospitals in Greater Manchester



Shelter housing officer Nadeem Khan won a BEM for helping people from his laptop on a roof in Lahore

He said: “I feel humbled.”

Fire station chief Karen McDowell, from Dromore. Co Down – who transitioned gender – receives an MBE for her work to help the LGBT+ community.

Landlord Caroline Halfhide, 51, from Ash in Somerset, becomes an MBE for turning her pub into a village shop to help residents get food.



An MBE goes to Anne Baker, 106 – the oldest person to ever receive an honour

CEO of Pembrokeshire Frame, Jennifer Sims, 76, is handed a BEM for launching #Bagsofcare Community Fridge Free Bags Scheme, providing hot meals.

An MBE goes to Anne Baker, 106 – the oldest person to ever receive an honour.

She gets it for decades of fundraising for the NSPCC.

Ruth Saunders, 104, receives an MBE for walking a charity marathon for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

The youngest recipient is Samah Khalil, 20, who is awarded a BEM for her work as Oldham’s Youth Mayor.





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