Queen’s birthday honours list – focus on those who helped nation during pandemic

The Queen’s birthday honours list, which was delayed from June, has now been released, with many names featuring who are being recognised for their work during the pandemic.

Notable names include footballer Marcus Rashford, 22, who successfully campaigned to have the government extend free school meals for those most in need over the summer holidays. He is awarded an MBE alongside Joe Wicks, who offered free daily PE sessions from his living room.

What’s an MBE? The British Honours system

“As a young black man from Wythenshawe, never did I think I would be accepting an MBE, never mind an MBE at the age of 22,” Rashford commented.

“The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over.”

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Other MBE recipients include Dizzee Rascal, for his musical contributions in the world of grime,

TV chef Mary Berry and actress Maureen Lipman have been made dames, while actor David Suchet and veteran entertainer Tommy Steele have been knighted.

TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox become CBEs.

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Of the names on the list, the majority are the heroes of the pandemic, from scientists and medical staff, to teachers and good neighbours. Health and social care workers which make up 14% of the total 1,495 recipients.

Virologist Dr Conall McCaughey, 59, from Downpatrick in County Down, has been appointed OBE for services to laboratory testing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Caroline Lee helped train nurses to manage deteriorating patients during the pandemic; she has been made an MBE for services to healthcare.

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London-based nurse, Felicia Kwaku, has been awarded an OBE after she championed the cause of nurses from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, who were being disproportionately affected by the virus. Kwaku is an associate director of nursing at Kings College NHS Foundation Trust.

Dabirul Islam Choudhury was inspired by Captain Tom; the 100-year-old from Bow, east London, raised more than £420,000 for coronavirus charities, walking nearly 1,000 laps of his garden while fasting for Ramadan. He is made an OBE.

Glasgow restauranteur David Maguire, 62, gave out free meals to NHS workers and vulnerable people during lockdown, and his work is recognised with an MBE.

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The Cabinet Office said this year’s list was the first to have 11% of recipients under 30, with 16-year-old Theodore Wride the youngest. He is awarded the British Empire Medak for service to his community in Sunderland during the pandemic.

PM Boris Johnson said: “This year’s honours recipients are a testament to the sort of country we are – caring, compassionate and resolute in the face of a global pandemic.

“The hard work and dedication of these local, often unsung heroes has helped carry us through. I congratulate them all.”

You can view the full list here.

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