An adult educator in Redbridge has received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Ruby Mahathevan, a curriculum manager and tutor at Redbridge Institute for Adult Education, was recognised for her services to education.

The 49-year-old said: “It’s really amazing. It's a huge, huge honour and I feel really blessed.

“It’s something that is beyond my wildest dreams, really, I had to pinch myself that it is happening and that it is happening to me.

“I’m just an ordinary person in Redbridge, I walk to work and I see most of my families when I am going shopping to buy groceries or to drop children off.

“It’s definitely going to give me the energy to keep doing the excellent work that we are doing with our community.”

Ruby, who works in family learning and community ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), said that Covid-19 had required an increased focus on helping families with digital skills to facilitate children’s home learning.

“My hope is that the pandemic shouldn’t stop families learning and also having quality time together.

“The main part is going that extra mile to support them in whichever way we can.”

In addition to teaching families new skills and knowledge, the institute has focused on the wellbeing of their community, putting on meditation, yoga, and mindfulness sessions.

Ruby hopes her honour will bring attention to the institute's work and raise awareness among people who could benefit from it.

“I’m trying to reach out to different groups, different council agencies or organisations to actually talk to those families or individuals so that they get some benefit by learning something with us,” she added.

MBE stands for Member of the Order of the British Empire, and recipients are typically awarded for outstanding achievements or service to the community.

Others honoured in this year's list include Ilford charity boss Idris Patel, for his services to the town’s community during Covid-19.