Doctors, nurses, and other service workers across Wales have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Welsh people who have made outstanding contributions in response to the virus, as well as for work in their communities, will be rewarded in a special Queen’s Birthday Honours List on October 10.
Boris Johnson announced earlier this year that the Birthday Honours, which are usually released in June, would be put back to allow time to say thank you for the work of those on the frontline against the pandemic.
Among those receiving MBEs is Elizabeth Walters, a 59-year-old consultant nurse at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board for her services to the NHS during the pandemic. Although she tested positive for Covid-19, Ms Walters continued to work while self-isolating, leading the supply on PPE for staff.
Dr Catherine Moore, 49, of Taff’s Well, is also nominated for an MBE for her services to Public Health. She recognised the significance of the new disease and actively reached out to international collaborators securing early samples for study in the Public Health Wales laboratory – before there had been any cases reported in the United Kingdom.
Working with others, Dr Moore ensured that Wales started sequencing in early March just days after the first confirmed case in Wales. This has resulted in Wales now having submitted the third largest number of sequenced cases to a global database and is already providing rich information on the characteristics of the virus and its spread.
Dr Mahaboob Basha, 38, from Swansea is nominated for a BEM for his services to his community. Throughout lockdown, he has delivered over 1,000 food and medication parcels individually to those shielding from the coronavirus.
“Twice a year we recognise the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom, in a wide range of professions, industries and communities,”
said Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales.
“But the announcement of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours come at an incredibly poignant time as we continue to fight the impact of coronavirus. Many of those honoured today include those not only selflessly serving their communities but who are also responsible for planning Wales’ response to the virus and caring for those suffering its consequences.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those honoured today and wish to congratulate them on their individual achievements.”
In total, 22 nominees from Wales have been featured in the list, including 14 nominations for services during the pandemic.
The list also showcases talent in Wales beyond this, with nominations for services to music and charity, education and science engagement, and women’s golf.
Robert Cater, 75, has been nominated for his services to education and science engagement. He started Technology Alliance Wales, a charity focused on encouraging interest in engineering through activities for secondary school pupils in 2005 and became Chief Executive of the not-for-profit educational charity Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW).
The programme provides for a local business setting up a project for teams of sixth formers to solve a real-world problem, with support including days at a local university. Each year, EESW works with some 70 companies across Wales and pupils present their projects at an annual event that has been regularly attended by the First Minister of Wales.
From the world of sport of entertainment, former Welsh rugby coach Warren Gatland receives a CBE for services to rugby in Wales. Ex-Wales captain and HIV charity campaigner Gareth Thomas receives a CBE for services to sport and health, while Wales’ most capped male rugby player and current skipper Alun Wyn Jones receives an OBE for services to Rugby Union in Wales. Opera singer Rebecca Evans also receives a CBE for services to the arts in Wales.