The Harpenden Trust is delighted to share the news that its People Director, Pat Ring, has been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Harpenden during COVID-19.
When the UK went into Lockdown, Pat helped to spearhead an initiative through the Harpenden Trust to set up a 17 strong socially distanced call centre, which has to date received over 2000 calls for support from Harpenden residents. The call centre then provided solutions through a strong volunteer network throughout the Trust and with other local charities to help those needing it through a very difficult period in areas such as befriending, food support, financial assistance – and much more.
Pat Ring, People Director at The Harpenden Trust, explains more:
“I had taken a few hours out to go and buy some plants at a nursery and whilst stopping for a sandwich, checked my emails. I noticed one was from the Cabinet Office, but with poor reception it wouldn’t open! I knew immediately what it must mean, and despite not being able to open it for a good few minutes, I went totally numb. Good job I had finished buying by then as I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate well enough to make any sensible purchases. I did message my husband, who took the news completely in his stride! But other than that, we couldn’t tell anyone for the next four weeks.”
“I do so enjoy my role of People Director and working with all the wonderful volunteers at the Harpenden Trust. Back in March we joined forces with the Bethany Church and The Salvation Army to set up and run Harpenden Cares for the Town Council. The Harpenden Trust’s role was initiating and managing the Contact Centre and while we already support a lot of the community through our existing initiatives, we had to rise to the challenge of supporting an even greater number of the town’s vulnerable and elderly.”
“I am truly humbled to be the one receiving this award. I would like to think that I am accepting it on behalf of all those in Harpenden who gave their time and support, because it has been a fabulous team effort. Our whole team at the Harpenden Trust, as well as our fellow partners in the Harpenden Cares Initiative have been amazing, supportive, and the very best example of how truly wonderful people can be when the need arises, as it did when we had to lockdown.”
“The continued care, thought and energy that has gone into our set up to support those in far greater need than ourselves has been truly amazing. We have overcome hurdles, had laughs and sadness and some tears too, but all in the knowledge that we have helped so many people in so many ways, many of whom would have found themselves in serious situations without our support.”
Richard Nichols, Chairman at the Harpenden Trust, continues:
“There are a huge number of unsung heroes right across The Harpenden Trust – all those volunteers who have made such an exceptional contribution across our local community in a year when many sought our support. Pat has been at the heart of all the work that has gone on during this difficult time and we are delighted that she has been honoured in this way.”
As well as the British Empire Medal, earlier this year Pat, alongside Richard Nichols and Nick Luckett from the Harpenden Trust, were made Heroes of Hertfordshire, an award made by the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, in recognition of the support given to the people of Hertfordshire in recent times.
The Harpenden Trust has been supporting Harpenden residents for over 70 years with some 400 volunteers. Funded by the people of Harpenden, the Harpenden Trust provides support for individuals, families and young people, as well as financial support for community projects.
11 October 2020