MBE/OBE’s for council staff

By on 11/06/2011 in News

Three members of staff at Birmingham City Council have today been named in the Queens Birthday Honours List, winning MBEs/OBEs for their services to local government and the people of Birmingham.

Stephen Hughes, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, said: “These are great honours for all three members of staff, and the teams they represent, and I am sure I will be joined by thousands of people their work has directly benefitted over the years when I say congratulations and a big thank you to each. All three are inspirational figures whose actions and achievements over the years have gone above and beyond any expectations, and led directly to great benefits for so many people.

MBE for disabled employment champion

A woman who has helped more than 800 disabled people in Birmingham gain employment over the past seven years, is one of three Council employees recognised in the Queens Birthday Honours List, released today.

Sue Vincent MBE, Head of Service for Disability Employment Solutions at Birmingham City Council, has won the award in recognition of her tireless work to ensure that people with disabilities or long term health conditions have equality of access to training, work experience and employment opportunities.  

Sue joined Birmingham City Council's Employment Preparation Team, now known as Forward 4 Work in 1990, following working at a shoe shop, office supply company and Mencap. Forward 4 Work provides training and support into employment for disabled people.

She was appointed Head of Service in 2003.

Under her leadership the support the council offers to disabled people has increased dramatically, from 53 disabled adults receiving training and 2 being helped into employment in 2002/3, to over 400 receiving training and 231 helped into employment in 2009/10.

In total over 800 disabled people have progressed into employment and changed their lives for the better during Sue's seven years of leadership.

Sue said: “I am overwhelmed. This honour though is not just about me, it is recognition of the 20 years of amazing work the team has been involved with, and is a tribute to the achievements of all the trainees we have worked with during that time.”

Care manager gains MBE

Also awarded an MBE for services to local government and interfaith relations is adult care manager Devinder Kalhan.

Employed by Birmingham City Council since 1988, Devinder has for many years managed services both for older and younger adults in the city.

Chair of the Wolverhampton Inter-faith Council between 2004 and 2010, he has also been recognised for his work bringing faiths together and fostering good community relations in the Black Country.

One of the highlights of my career was the development and implementation of the quality management system within 29 of the residential homes within the city for older people, which led to the service being the first LA in the country to receive Customer Service Excellence award in 2008.

Devinder said: “It has come as a surprise – albeit very welcomed – that my work in Local Government and supporting interfaith faiths relationships in the West Midlands has been recognised in this manner.

“It is clear to me that this honour recognises the work of all stakeholders and team members who are actively seeking to improve the health and well being of vulnerable people in Birmingham … I simply provided local leadership to ensure goals were achieved and to support all working in collaboration to make a change. For the past 25 years working in the social care field, I learnt that leaders can accelerate change on the ground by keeping things simple and clear and, most importantly, through empowerment of staff.”

OBE for Anti-social behavior expert

Twenty six years of working to tackle anti-social behaviour, both locally and nationally, has been recognised with an OBE for Services to Local Government for Feizal Hajat.

Feizal, who has worked for Birmingham City Council since 2004, and before that spent 18 years with Leicester City Council, has worked closely with successive national Governments to help develop and implement a wide range of legislation and initiatives seeking to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Feizal said: “When you look at the calibre and achievements of others who have won such awards it is truly humbling to be in such company. In many ways my award is more about the great work, effort and commitment of the communities with whom I have worked over the years than it is about any individual achievement.

“Tackling anti-social behaviour is if course an on-going issue and while I am delighted this award, it is important that we remain focused and realize there is still much we must continue to work alongside our partners to achieve in this area.”


For more information please contact Simon Houltby on 0121 303 3503


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