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A Seven Kings resident has been made an MBE for services to the community in Poplar.

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Asim Iftikhar works for social housing charity Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA), which owns and manages around 8,500 homes in the area.

The non-profit organisation has spent millions refurbishing homes and runs five community centres offering activities and services for residents.

Mr Iftikhar, of Cambridge Road, has been working at the charity for 12 years and now manages community services.

He said: “We give people affordable homes but it’s equally important to give them opportunities to excel.

“When the letter came through asking if I’d accept the honour I thought it was a hoax.

“I only checked with my director two days later and it fell into place.

“I’m over the moon, it was a complete surprise.”

Mr Iftikhar was one of four Redbridge residents recognised for their contribution to society in the New Year Honours.

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