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Covid heroes named in New Year's Honours List

Covid heroes named in New Year's Honours List

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Covid heroes named in New Year's Honours List

The former HSC President, the Matron of St John's Residential Home and the Chief Operating Officer of St John Ambulance Guernsey will receive Royal Honours for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Dr Susan Fleming and Nikki Harrison will all be awarded MBE's for their services to the Bailiwick during the height of the pandemic earlier this year.

Alderney's Ronald Cairnduff has also been named in the 2021 New Year Honours List for services to entertainment and culture in the northern isle.

The New Year Honours List is the second to incorporate Covid-19 nominations. The first was the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, which was delayed until the end of October and saw Dr Nicola Brink, Dr Mat Dorrian and Mary Putra receive Royal Honours for their part in the island's response to the pandemic. 

Deputy Soulsby, who will be awarded an MBE for services to healthcare, headed up the Health & Social Care Committee as local services started to monitor the emerging pandemic risk in January.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby

Pictured: As a member of the Civil Contingencies Authority, Deputy Soulsby has been ever-present during the regular coronavirus briefings. 

Under her leadership, HSC designed a strategy to save the Bailiwick and local health services from the worst of the virus. The Bailiwick ended up spending 87 days in lockdown and islanders have enjoyed six months since without any community restrictions. 

Although not employed by HSC, Dr Fleming took the lead on the States' Care Home cell, which was set up to combat the spread of the virus among some of the most vulnerable people in the island. 

Following a spate of cases, she designed a strategy to protect all local nursing and care home residents, ensuring that all hospital patients were tested for Covid-19 on discharge and prior to re-admission to residential homes.

Dr Fleming launched a campaign to recruit former care staff to work on the frontline of the emergency response and sourced PPE despite local shortages, distributing the vital equipment across the island's care facilities. 


Pictured: Dr Fleming, the Matron at St John’s Residential Home, was the first person in the Bailiwick to receive the Pfizer vaccine as part of the first priority cohort.

The States and local charities looked to St John Ambulance Guernsey at the start of the pandemic for support and coordination of third sector efforts. Mrs Harrison, who will receive an MBE for services to the community, created Volunteer Guernsey to deliver co-ordinated community support and to direct resources where they were most needed, including home deliveries and a non-clinical, caring caller line. 

She recruited and trained extra volunteers to fulfil vital tasks, worked with a local distillery to manufacture and stock hand sanitiser using local seaweed, and collected donations of gifts for elderly and isolated islanders to help them celebrated the 75th anniversary of Guernsey's Liberation. 

"I’m very pleased that these islanders have received national recognition," said Lt-Governor Sir Ian Corder.

"The details of their achievements may differ but they have each displayed outstanding leadership in their field, along with a determination to make things better for the rest of us. I think we can all be very grateful for that."

All will be invited to a special reception at the Royal Court building on New Years Day.

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