Ilford charity boss named in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Idris Patel wearing a suit, holding a phone, in front of a green background

Idris Patel, chief executive of Supporting Humanity, was given a British Empire Medal for his services to the Ilford community during the pandemic. - Credit: Idris Patel

An Ilford charity boss has been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021 for his services to the town's community during Covid-19. 

Idris Patel, 45, has been bestowed with a British Empire Medal for his work as the chief executive of Supporting Humanity, a charity he set up during the pandemic. 

Over the past year Supporting Humanity has worked with businesses to distribute 1,800 meals a day to hospitals, vulnerable people, and those isolating. 

Idris said: “More than myself I’m proud for the charity, I feel like it’s not me but the charity that’s got the award. 

“Without the people I work with I genuinely wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done. 


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“Every single person in my charity is like a family member. 

“We’re not expecting the world to thank us, we are doing things because we want to do it for the world.” 

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He said that he had known about the honour for a few weeks and had found it difficult not to tell his mother. 

“A lot of these things that I’m doing with the charity are because of the way my mum brought me up,” he said.

“She has always said to me don’t worry about what the world can do for you, you worry about what you can do for the world.” 

The British Empire Medal is awarded for “meritorious” actions, with around 300 awarded every year to community volunteers. 

Idris has provided more than 82,000 meals to vulnerable Londoners over the course of the pandemic, with the help of businesses such as Gafoor Poultry, Saffron Kitchen, and Eman Channel. 

More than 18 hospitals have benefitted from his service and the charity has received the support of Leyton Orient Football Club and Essex County Cricket Club. 

Despite the huge amount of charity activity he is engaged in, Idris finds time at the end of his day to drop off sweet cakes to all the volunteers to thank them. 

He has also helped arrange more than 900 burials and is involved with bereavement and mental health work, setting up a free helpline for people with depression, stress, and anxiety.

Others honoured include curriculum manager and tutor at Redbridge Institute of Adult Education, Shivarubeni Mahathevan, awarded an MBE for services to education.

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