Awards for 32 Buckinghamshire residents were announced today in HM The Queen’s New Year Honours List. These men and women have been recognised for their outstanding work in supporting key services and communities, ranging from a commitment to voluntary services for young people to community support efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gillian Owen-Conway BEM received her award for services to the community in Buckinghamshire. She has been a dedicated Samaritan for 15 years, where she took on various roles culminating in becoming a Branch Director, and was also a listener at Moreover. She single-handedly runs the volunteer rota for the phone helpline at Drug Fam, ensuring that it is fully manned providing a regular 9am to 5pm service, plus additional hours until 9pm and then over the weekends. Her work for Drug Fam is mirrored in her work for the local community of Great Missenden, where she helps to mastermind the running of the village shop, ordering in the supplies and ensuring that vulnerable residents can access its services.
Vinodkumar Mashri Jeram Pankhania BEM received their award for services to the community in Milton Keynes. This included building the first ever Hindu Community Centre in Milton Keynes, bringing together the wider community to celebrate the art and cultural heritage of India. During the Covid pandemic, he has used the platform of social media to conduct online Prayer sessions and the equally important tradition of Bhajan singing to lift the weary spirits of the members, reaching over 10,000 views. He also devised a Community Outreach Programme to provide meals, collect prescriptions and deliver essential shopping to those in need.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, The Countess Howe, said:
“I offer my sincere and heartfelt congratulations to those Buckinghamshire residents who have been honoured with an award in the New Year Honours 2022.
“We all know that the world has been in turmoil, indeed none can escape the daily headlines, but despite being faced with enormous adversity, people in our communities have stepped up to deliver a whole range of Covid-19 related activity. In the wider context individuals have continued to achieve extraordinary things. In this county, service in fields ranging from the film industry, cyber security, education, business and sport, to support for young people, victims of domestic violence, burn injuries and disfigurement, the inclusion of women and diversity, and those with visual impairment has been absolutely exemplary. Tireless commitment, energy and sacrifice has been the hallmark of their work and they have made a significant difference to the lives of others.
“I proudly applaud the achievements of our honours recipients and thank them for their dedication. Their example is an inspiration to us all and they are richly deserving of this distinction.”
Lady Howe added: “There are many unsung heroes in our midst so could I encourage you to consider nominating someone for a national honour. The Lieutenancy office can offer you guidance on how to do this.”