Sainsbury's assistant in Bedford to be named in Queen's birthday honours for work during Covid pandemic

Her service to the community is being recognised with the British Empire Medal

Friday, 9th October 2020, 10:30 pm

Rani Kaur is being recognised for her tireless work during the pandemic in the Queen’s delayed birthday honours list.

The 55-year-old, of Bedford, is receiving the British Empire Medal (BEM) in honour of her services to the community.

At the outset of the crisis - Rani - a food services assistant at Sainsbury’s Fairfield store - was the first to offer support to vulnerable and elderly customers who were shielding and regularly delivered groceries to their door outside her normal working hours.

Rani Kaur

And if that wasn't enough, as well as ensuring her customers had the groceries they needed, Rani - who has worked at Sainsbury’s for more than 15 years - also made sure that those who were self-isolating knew they were never alone and that she was always available for a chat through the window or door.

She said: "It is a huge honour to be mentioned on the Queen’s birthday honours list, which was very unexpected but I am enormously proud of."

Her accolade is part of a bumper list which features medical staff, volunteers and key workers all involved in the pandemic response.

During the height of lockdown, Rani also coordinated her friends and family, making and supplying 200 meals every day for the ambulance service. And in her her spare time, she also donated 200 face masks to Bedford Hospital for staff and patients who were struggling during the initial shortages.

Rani said: "I would like to dedicate this to all the volunteers at Sri Guru Ravidass Sabha & Community Centre Bedford who have been selflessly serving the vulnerable, paramedics and ambulance staff, NHS, police, care homes, homeless and self isolating families during this pandemic.

"Over 18,000 hot meals were delivered in 110 days and I am proud that I was part of it and was able to help others in this difficult time.

"I wanted to get involved so I helped make a number of samosas and chapatis across a number of days during lockdown.

"I would also like to thank my store manager, Simon Ainger, and our head of stores manager, Nick Smith, who helped and supported the cause by donating Easter eggs and cooking ingredients."

*Melanie Beck, 55, of Woburn - the chief executive officer at MyMiltonKeynes - also received an MBE for services to the community in Milton Keynes during the pandemic.