Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, 27 extraordinary people from across the UK are being recognised with the coveted British Citizen Award. One of them is Sally Miller, from Havering. Due to the current lockdown, the usual grand medal presentation ceremony at The Palace of Westminster is unable to take place. For only the second time in its history, Sally and the remaining 26 medalists received their BCA medals by courier, together with video messages of congratulations together with an invitation to the House of Lords at a date yet to be determined, when it is safe to do so.
The British Citizen Award (BCA), in association with One-Stop, is now in its sixth year and recognises exceptional people who positively impact their communities. Sally Miller honoured with a BCAc for Services to the Community.
Sally has been volunteering in Havering for over 20 years. She joined her local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, then started running Havering Street Watch in 2015. Through Sally’s determination this has grown from five to 20 volunteers.
Sally fundraises the money to continue the scheme so that volunteers are equipped with high-visibility jackets, torches, pocketbooks and personal attack alarms. All volunteers are insured. Sally and the team patrol the local area, organise meetings and hold public presentations, liaising with the local police to ensure continued support for the area. She recently set up a project in partnership with the Met. Police and Havering College to raise awareness of the anti-burglary campaign ‘lift, lock, remove’. To date she has volunteered over 600 hours to the scheme.
Also, Sally volunteers as an Appropriate Adult in Custody supporting young people under the age of 18 or adults with mental health issues through the custody process. To date she has volunteered over 300 hours in custody. Sally was asked to raise money for two new minibuses, so organised quiz nights and big lunches raising over £3,000. Sally believes in bringing the neighbourhood together to create a safer environment for families to feel they belong.
Jonny McQuarrie, Managing Director from BCA partner One Stop said: “Each time a new group of medalists are selected it reminds us of how great the people of this nation are. We serve many communities up and down the country through the One Stop convenience stores, and these particular individuals being recognised now, especially at this time of extraordinary circumstance, reflects all that is good about community spirit. It’s a privilege to play a small part in helping them to be recognised. Our congratulations go to all 27 honourees”.
Lisa Collins, founder of sponsor Objective HR, who would have usually presented Sally with her medal in person said: “Sally’s commitment to volunteering and fundraising, liaison with the police to raise awareness of the anti-burglary campaign and her support as a volunteer Appropriate Adult in Custody shows determination, dedication and devotion to the local community. Sally is an unsung hero and deserves this medal and recognition for her dedication.”
Messages of support were sent via video from TV personalities Michael Underwood, Matt Allwright, pop superstar Kimberly Walsh of the Pussycat Dolls, and popular comedian, actor and Patron of the BCA Bradley Walsh. Another Patron, Dame Mary Perkins, Founder of Specsavers sent a heartfelt message together with representatives from Experian and Places for People who have all continued to support the BCA throughout the pandemic.
The British Citizen Award was established in 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly making a positive impact on society. The BCA recognises true pillars of the community, whose divergent endeavours deserve honouring, but mightotherwise likely be overlooked.
Dubbed the People’s Honours, each Medal bears the words ‘For the Good of the Country’ and are presented to only a small number of exceptional individuals twice annually. The British Citizen Award is widely viewed as the nation’s way of recognising extraordinary,everyday people for exceptional endeavor and are truly representative of today’s multicultural Britain.