Queen's Birthday Honours: Charity founder honoured with British Empire Medal for supporting the community throughout lockdown
SEVEN years of empowering the community and supporting those in need has led to a dedicated charity founder being honoured.
In particular, Kerry’s contributions to helping people during the pandemic have led to this award, as Acts of Kindness expanded its offering to make sure no one was left behind.
Kerry, 42, said: ‘It’s overwhelming to be given the BEM award. To be recognised after a significantly difficult year for AOK and for all charities is truly humbling.
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‘I thank everyone for being so supportive throughout the seven years and believing in AOK.’
These are exciting times for the charity as this honour follows Acts of Kindness receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last month
Retired police officer Kerry, who lives with post-traumatic stress disorder, set up Acts of Kindness on Facebook in 2014 and the group has now grown to more than 12,000 members.
As the pandemic began in 2020, Acts of Kindness stepped up to the plate as Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank closed, and the charity has provided more than 8,000 food parcels over the course of the pandemic.
The group has been delivering food parcels, collecting medication and phoning those who are feeling isolated to make sure no one is left out.
During the lockdown, Kerry was also honoured with a Points of Light Award, presented to her by Fareham MP Suella Braverman.
On her work in the community, Kerry said: ‘I do it because I hate the feeling of people feeling lonely in what is their crisis. I believe that we are stronger together and that the community can really support those who are struggling.
‘It gives me focus and purpose too throughout my own battles with PTSD and a loss of my career as a police officer through injury on duty. To journey with others is a privilege.
‘A big thanks to my service dog Bert, he is a big part of me and supports me with my PTSD - without him I’m lost.’