Hon­ours for army of un­sung virus helpers

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Cyril Dixon

NURS­ING boss Feli­cia Kwaku leads the roll call of Covid heroes who have worked valiantly to save lives.

Feli­cia, 52, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of nurs­ing at Kings Col­lege NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, is hon­oured by the Queen for her ser­vices to nurs­ing.

The nurse of 30 years, from Islington, north Lon­don, sup­ported BAME nurses by de­liv­er­ing we­bi­nars dur­ing the pan­demic and raised is­sues sur­round­ing per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment.

Feli­cia, who is made an OBE, said: “You can’t ignore the fact peo­ple have laid down their lives dur­ing this pan­demic. It is only right, proper and fit­ting to hon­our them and those who con­tinue to serve.”

Dabirul Is­lam Choud­hury, 100, is made an OBE af­ter rais­ing £ 420,000 for Covid- 19 re­lief by walk­ing 970 laps of his gar­den in Bow, east Lon­don, while fast­ing dur­ing Ra­madan. He said: “I feel proud they have hon­oured me for the ef­forts I have done. I thank every­body from the bot­tom of my heart.”

Jo­lene Miller, a para­medic who be­came a train driver, then went back to her old job as a vol­un­teer, re­ceived a Bri­tish Em­pire Medal ( BEM).

The 42- year- old from In­gleby Bar­wick, North Yorks, helped as­sess pa­tients as they ar­rived at Dar­ling­ton Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal. She said: “I thought I can­not sit here and do noth­ing when I have skills that I could use else­where.”

Jay Flynn, 38, said he was “over­whelmed and hon­oured” af­ter get­ting the MBE for his on­line pub quizzes which raised about £ 750,000 for a home­less char­ity.

Jay, of Dar­wen, Lancs, said: “I thought, ‘ This can’t be real’. I’m com­pletely over­whelmed and hon­oured.”

Restau­ra­teur David Maguire turned his Glas­gow eatery into a free feed­ing sta­tion for health staff work­ing with coro­n­avirus pa­tients and then the home­less.

His staff made 800 free meals per day for nearly three months, and a fundraiser he set up with £ 10,000 of his own money raised more than £ 68,000. Af­ter get­ting the MBE, David, 62, said he was “re­ally pleased”.

Asda de­liv­ery driver Ge­of­frey Nor­ris, 53, was given a BEM for us­ing his own car on days off to make sure el­derly and vul­ner­a­ble cus­tomers in Wis­bech, Cambs, got their shop­ping.

He said: “I was shocked as hell to be hon­est. I was ab­so­lutely gob­s­macked.”

Su­per­mar­ket worker Julie Cooke, 56, who en­sured a care home could get vi­tal sup­plies of food dur­ing the pan­demic was awarded the BEM.

Julie, from Aber­dare, Wales, said: “I was just jump­ing up and down when I found out, as I was so ex­cited.”

Pic­tures: PA

Quiz mas­ter Jay Flynn; Feli­cia Kwaku, OBE, inset

Julie Cooke awarded a Bri­tish Em­pire Medal

David McGuire; driver Ge­of­frey Nor­ris, be­low

Jo­lene Miller took a break from be­ing a train driver to re­turn to vol­un­teer as a para­medic

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