A social worker at Hammersmith & Fulham Council has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours due to her voluntary work in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The citation recognises her ‘outstanding contribution to social work’. According to the official award, Manvir sought and collected essential items and voluntarily mobilised a group of volunteers in north London – where she lives – to prepare and distribute care packs for key workers. These were then delivered to hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes across the country.
“I’d like to offer Manvir our heartiest congratulations on the award of her MBE for services to her community during COVID-19,” said Cllr Larry Culhane, H&F Cabinet Member for Children & Education.
“She has demonstrated altruistic public service, selfless, imaginative and tenacious work in service to her community – all on top of a demanding day job as a social worker within the Disabled Children’s Team.”
Colleagues also added their congratulations to Manvir on the honour, which acknowledges that frontline social workers have been under every bit as much pressure as many NHS staff during the pandemic, particularly in helping Disabled people cope with lockdown restrictions.
Manvir has worked in Hammersmith & Fulham for 27 years, initially as a community worker before training as a social worker.
Demonstrating a sustained commitment to going above and beyond her regular job and working for those most in need in the local community. She helped set up and run HIV/Aids awareness projects in Wormwood Scrubs prison to support inmates’ safety and education.
Manvir said: “It’s an absolute honour, and quite overwhelming, for me to be recognised in this manner. It’s lovely to get the acknowledgement, but to be honest it’s no more than so many other people are doing it, too. Without the support of others, it would not have been possible.”
At the start of the COVID lockdown, Manvir set up a project to help NHS staff suffering from sore hands from regular handwashing.
Sourcing more than 2,500 hand creams from Boots and Avon, Manvir distributed these to NHS staff in GP surgeries and care homes, as well as at Charing Cross, Chelsea and Westminster and St Mary’s Hospitals, and further afield to Bedford, Lister, Addenbrooke’s and Papworth hospitals.
She also worked with volunteers and charities to distribute 75 face shields, large quantities of biscuits and soups, 250 lip balms, 100 deodorants, and 200 body washes to those on the frontline.
She helped set up Sewing For Heroes – a group which has sewn more than 500 scrubs bags, 250 scrubs as well as scrub hats and face masks for distribution to NHS staff and care workers across the country.
Along with a group of friends, she continues to support NHS staff across London and beyond, including working closely with the Legacy of War Foundation, a charity set up to support civilians affected by conflict, that has distributed PPE, essential personal hygiene items, food and drink to NHS staff in East Sussex, as well as providing transport to take essential workers to and from work.
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