Natalie Smith, Thurrock Council's Community Development and Equalities Manager, has been awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to the community in Thurrock.
On Saturday 28 December, the Queen's New Year Honours List 2020 was published listing Natalie's award. The Queen's New Year Honours list recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people from all backgrounds across the UK. In total 1,097 people have received an award, with 72% of the awards being given to people who have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community.
Natalie said: "I was both stunned, surprised and, of course, extremely proud and honoured to learn that I was to be awarded a Medal of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year 2020 Honours List. It is a tremendous compliment to have been nominated and considered for this prestigious award.
"I have worked in Thurrock for over 20 years and throughout that time I have considered it my privilege to have worked alongside so many inspirational and committed people across all sectors.
"In particular, I have so admired the many hundreds of local people who work to improve the communities where they live, and support the causes for which they campaign tirelessly. I work with a committed team and we consider it our duty to match the passion and energy of those who seek to create change with encouragement and practical support. I accept this honour in recognition and as praise for all those who choose to build stronger communities, and look forward to celebrating the award with family and friends."
Cllr Deb Huelin, Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: "This is a fabulous achievement. For Natalie to receive such a high honour for her work in the communities across Thurrock is one of the best recognitions of the value of working with our residents on project that affect them.
"As a council, we have invested a lot in our communities and this is a prestigious award that is well deserved."
The full Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2020, go to GOV.UK: New Year Honours list 2020.