Queen honours selflessness of ‘ordinary’ Mancunians who help others

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List has once again shone a light on the outstanding contributions British people have made to the country, and it has gone a long way in showcasing the selfless-ness of many people – Mancunians included.

In a year when we have all been feeling particularly vulnerable, people have gone above and beyond to provide a service to other people.  

Honoured in the Queen’s List are people such as Gareth Mallion MBE, who played a vital role in setting up the NHS Nightingale hospital – despite it being completely separate from his job as a National Rail employee, and Kathryn Davies MBE, who organised and distributed care packages from her colleagues at the Co-Operative Bank. 

The efforts of people like Simon Lea BEM are heartening.

 In his position as a manager at an Asda in Marple, he rallied his staff and customers to help an isolating 98-year-old woman celebrate her birthday. 

“That’s where I get my job satisfaction from,” Mr. Lea said, speaking of his work within the community.

“Whichever supermarket I’ve been in, I’ve already tried to do something within the community, whether it was related to autism or dementia. 

“Helping people just seems like the natural thing to do, especially with COVID.” 

Other honourees have cast their nets wider than their local communi-ties. 

Hera Hussain BEM is the founder of Chayn, a organisation that uses digital tools to help women and non-binary people suffering from gender based violence. 

Speaking of what she hopes her BEM will mean for Chayn, Miss. Hussain said, “I hope that this introduces us to a new set of people, who may not have seen Chayn before. 

“I also hope it brings some legitimacy to this type of approach. We need to create online supportive spaces, they’re as needed as they are in-person.”  

Because of the pandemic, the exact circumstances of the award ceremony remain uncertain. But that has not diminished the accomplishments of the honourees, who have served their communities in a time of great difficulty.

PIC: Gareth Mallion

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