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'Covid Heroes' among those to receive Royal Honours

'Covid Heroes' among those to receive Royal Honours

Saturday 10 October 2020

'Covid Heroes' among those to receive Royal Honours


The Director of Public Health, a GP and a communications officer have all been made an MBE for their services to the island during the Covid-19 pandemic, while a champion for vulnerable families and a long-serving public servant are finally receiving Royal Honours.

Five Bailiwick residents have been named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which was postponed by the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson to enable nominations of people who have made significant contributions to the community in the early months of the Covid-19 response.

From the original list, States of Guernsey Chief Executive Paul Whitfield has been made an OBE for services to the public sector in the UK and Guernsey, while Rachel Copeland will be given a BEM for her services to vulnerable families in Guernsey. 

There are a further three, Covid-19-related nominations. 

Dr Nicola Brink has been made an MBE for her services to Public Health, as have Dr Matthew Dorrian, for his services to Primary Health Care, and Mary Putra, for services to government communications. 

nicola_brink_rebecca_falla.jpeg

Pictured: Dr Nicola Brink has provided expert advice to the Civil Contingencies Authority to aid its decision-making. 

"This is an unusual list, made up of honours that would have originally been announced at the start of the summer, together with nominations that came later for those who distinguished themselves in the early response to the current pandemic," said His Excellency Sir Ian Corder, as he announced the results.

"I’m delighted that the Bailiwick is well represented in both elements of this extended national list.

"Not only are each of these five individuals exceptional in their own right, but they also represent the very best of their respective sectors. This is particularly true for those honours originating from the pandemic, where so many workers and volunteers have gone above and beyond what might normally expected of them."

Mr Whitfield has been a public servant for more than 40 years, which has involved roles in military service, the UK Prison Service and latterly the States of Guernsey.

Ms Copeland founded Bright Beginnings Children’s Centre and has dedicated a quarter of a century of her life to helping some of Guernsey's most vulnerable families, including single teenage mothers. 

Governor Ian Corder

Pictured: The Lt-Governor Sir Ian Corder will host a reception at Government House for the honours recipients and their guests at 11:00 today. 

Dr Brink's medical guidance saw the coronavirus almost entirely wiped out in Guernsey as she provided expert advice to the Civil Contingencies Authority. 

Dr Dorrian took the initiative to unite Guernsey's private sector health professionals as part of a Bailiwick-wide strategy to respond to the threat of Covid-19.

While Mrs Putra devised and led the Bailiwick's Covid-19 engagement strategy at short notice as part of a new government communications strategy. 

Express will be publishing in-depth interviews with the awards recipients in the coming days. 

Pictured top: Dr Mat Dorrian, Rachel Copeland and Paul Whitfield.

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