The founder of Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank has been awarded an MBE for a decade’s work helping some of the most vulnerable residents of the borough.
Daphine Aikens is delighted by the honour, but insists the credit is shared with volunteers who keep the service running smoothly.
“It’s nice to have the recognition,” said Daphine, 52. “Although I’m CEO, I have a lot of people who support us; so huge thanks to them. Everybody plays a part, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said it was a merited – and overdue – honour. “No one is more deserving than Daphine; her work makes a huge difference to so many residents in our borough,” she said.
As an American citizen, Daphine is currently only entitled to ‘honorary’ MBE status… although that is likely to be upgraded once she takes British nationality to match her husband and children.
“I was sent a letter to say that it takes immediate effect,” she said. “When my [British] citizenship comes through, I hope I can go to see The Queen… but I don’t know if it gets me upgrades on planes!”
She hopes the honour may give the foodbank more visibility when it comes to fundraising.
In 2013 Daphine appeared on the Evening Standard’s Power 1000 list of influential people in the capital, and in 2018 she won H&F’s community hero award for outstanding contribution to the life of the borough.
The foodbank opened in Fulham in 2010, with a second in West Ken in 2012 and a third in White City in 2016. When it was set up, only a handful of foodbanks existed. Today the UK has more than 2,000.
The most urgently needed food items, and donation points, can be found by visiting the H&F Foodbank website.
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