Extraordinary people from across the West Midlands recognised with honours

Twenty five people from across the West Midlands will receive their British Empire Medal from the Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands at an Investiture at Birmingham Council House today.

This Honour recognises the people who give so much to support their communities and many of the incredible stories of how they help others are inspiring, emotional and heart-warming.

Eight recipients came from across the Black Country including 22-year-old Alex Griffiths, a Clinical Support Worker at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley. Alex worked on Covid wards during the height of the pandemic before pushing himself further by enrolling on a masters degree course in Adult and Child Nursing at Birmingham City University. He said:

“I’ve no idea who nominated me, but I’m obviously flattered and very proud to be the recipient of a British Empire Medal - but to be honest, I’m just doing what I love to do!

“When I was growing up, I wanted to be a doctor, so I think I always had this desire to help others. But I when I began working at Russells Hall Hospital, I saw first-hand the day-to-day critical and intensive care that nurses provided and the relationships they developed with their patients as a result.

“Being a ‘people person’ that really appealed to me, and I knew then that nursing was for me. As cheesy as it sounds, I firmly believe I was put on earth to care, although I never thought I’d receive official recognition for this.”

For over six years, Allen’s Cross Community Centre has been growing and providing fresh vegetables for the local community. Jaqueline Careless set up the charity, that now has 26 volunteers that all help to grow the vegetables and encourage local people to eat healthy.

The area for the charity was once a waste land attracting anti- social behaviour and now help train volunteers and supports the local disadvantaged community.

Also, Rose Cook-Monk has dedicated her life to helping good causes in Dudley. Her greatest passion is the football legend, Duncan Edwards and she has created a museum around his life so that his memory lives on and staged a play about his life and tragic death.

She set up the Duncan Edwards Foundation which raises money for underprivileged children and has worked tirelessly so Dudley people can enjoy a better life. She walked 130 miles in 2013 along the Great Wall of China to raise £12,000 for Breast Cancer UK and as a volunteer worked tirelessly for 'Operation Santa'  collecting and distributing toys for local children. John Crabtree OBE , Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands said:

“We are blessed with such a wide range of cultures and people who give so much to others to make our region such a great place to live.

"I am always heartened to meet the BEM recipients, who often have been motivated by personal circumstances and always look to caring or creating better opportunities, benefits and care for others. “


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