12 Jun 2021
Katy Porter, CEO of Islington-based charity Manor Gardens Welfare Trust, has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List with a British Empire Medal for services to the community during Covid-19.
The citation includes:
• When Covid-19 hit, Katy decided to take initiative and take leadership for supporting the effort of those experiencing food poverty and those having to isolate. Her organisation built and strengthened links with local GPs, council and other voluntary sector organisations. This helped her build a variety of staff and volunteers to collect and assemble food parcels, distribute them and provide emotional and wellbeing support. Her efforts benefited the whole of the Borough of Islington, enabling and energising other organisations offering support.
• She is also part of the highly innovative scheme with the GP Federation to deliver oxygen saturation probes to those in the community to aid remote assessment of their condition by local GPs. This scheme mobilised staff and volunteers to respond, and provided organisational support. Patients were able to receive a more rapid and detailed assessment allowing people to stay at home safely and others assessed in hospital.
‘This honour has come as a complete surprise,’ says Katy Porter. ‘I’m very proud of everything the dedicated staff and volunteers at Manor Gardens have been able to achieve when we were needed most and I’m delighted to accept this honour in recognition of our ability to take action swiftly to support our local communities.’
‘I’m delighted and extremely proud that Katy Porter has been recognised in the Queen’s 2021 Birthday Honours List,’ says Allan Sutherland, Chair of Trustees. ‘It is thoroughly deserved for Katy’s leadership through the extraordinary challenges of the Covid pandemic. I see this honour as also recognising the brave and committed work of all Manor Gardens staff and volunteers who have continued to support people to survive and manage loss over the last 18 months. Katy’s tireless commitment to the community Manor Gardens Welfare Trust serves has been a genuine expression of the values and open-hearted history of the trust.’
In March 2020 Katy led the initiative to set up a food distribution hub to ensure that no one went without food. She helped co-ordinate support across the borough by working in partnership with other organisations and the council enabling aid to go straight to people most in need across the borough. Manor Gardens distributed nearly 3,000 food parcels to 1,500 individuals, including 680 children until the end of September, when recipients were supported to access other sources of sustainable help, and with the support and co-ordination of hundreds of volunteers who came forward.
Thirteen volunteer cyclists delivered hundreds of oxygen saturation probes, enabling people, and importantly their GP, to monitor their condition in their own homes. More recently, Manor Gardens has supported the roll-out of the vaccination programme in the Borough, providing information and outreach to encourage uptake, and recruiting 150 volunteer stewards for the clinics since December 2020, giving in excess of 10,000 hours of volunteering.
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