Charity boss receives British Empire Medal
- Credit: Supporting Humanity
A charity boss has been presented with his British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, September 27, Idris Patel, chief executive of charity Supporting Humanity, received his medal at an investiture ceremony at the Palace of Westminster.
Idris, 45, launched the charity during the pandemic to provide food and support to Ilford and Newham communities but the group has since expanded to other boroughs and moved towards provision of mental health and bereavement services.
Over the course of the pandemic, the group has distributed over 92,000 free hot meals to 16 London NHS hospitals, homeless shelters and care homes.
The group recently trained around 30 new advisors to man its mental health helpline.
Idris said: “As my mum always said, it’s not what the world can do for you, it’s what we can do for the world that really matters.
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“The ethos of the charity is very simple – treat everyone like they are your own.
“The beauty of this work is it’s addictive. It becomes addictive to get those people to say thank you to you.
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“The heartfelt thank yous, that’s what we crave, because you can’t buy those tears, you can’t buy those thank yous.”
The British Empire Medal is awarded for “meritorious” actions, with around 300 awarded every year to community volunteers.
Supporting Humanity has received help from businesses and sporting organisations such as Leyton Orient Football Club and Essex County Cricket Club.
On Wednesday, September 29, Idris also received a British Citizen Award (BCA) Medal of Honour for his service to the community.
Now in its sixth year, the BCA recognises exceptional individuals who positively impact their communities throughout the country.
The medal presentation ceremony also took place at the Palace of Westminster and Idris received his honour from Mark Everitt, finance, technology and franchise director at One Stop.