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Rail employees recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

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The 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, published on Friday 11 June, included several awards for people with railway connections.

Four are Network Rail employees, who have been recognised for various pieces of work, including to support colleagues’ mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, vital charity work in local communities and promoting diversity across the rail industry.

The four who were honoured were:

  • Rajinder Pryor, MBE – for her work with Women in Rail to promote diversity across the rail industry, and for raising awareness around domestic abuse, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic in support of the Rail to Refuge scheme and Online Safe Spaces;
  • John Sidebotham, British Empire Medal (BEM) – for outstanding service to health and wellbeing at Network Rail during the COVID-19 pandemic, and starting a movement that embodies trust, collaboration, diversity and inclusion, and the celebration of uniqueness;
  • Danny Hawkins, BEM – for his work with local schools and charities in Ebbsfleet, including devising a programme to educate school children on how to stay safe near the railway;
  • Simon Lloyd, BEM – for his charity work over the last 15 years, restoring over 300 discarded and unwanted bicycles and giving them to charities and schools, and most recently to people returning to work after being homeless.
Andrew Haines, Network Rail.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “I am incredibly proud to see the contributions of Rajinder, John, Danny and Simon recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“They have all been making a real difference to their local communities and to their colleagues, and it’s great to see their dedication acknowledged at the highest level. Congratulations to all.”

A former Network Rail employee, Nick Elliott, who spent eight years with the company, left his post as managing director of the National Supply Chain to be seconded to the Ministry of Defence. He became deputy CEO of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) until the COVID-19 pandemic struck in April 2020. whereupon he was appointed director general of the UK Vaccine Taskforce. For this work, he has been named Companion, Order of the Bath (CB). Nick is now a director of Turner & Townsend.

Two senior British Transport Police officers were awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM). Chief Constable, Lucy D’Orsi, received hers for distinguished services to the policing of specialist operations in the UK, while Chief Superintendent Dennis Murray, who is BTP’s lead for legitimacy, trust and community policing, and is on a three-year secondment from Northamptonshire Police, was honoured for improving diversity within policing and building trust and strong relationships with local communities.

Chief Constable D’Orsi said: “I am extremely humbled and proud to receive this award. Working in policing has allowed me to make a difference to communities which is the reason I joined policing and this continues to drive me. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with and learn from some brilliant people, both inside and outside of policing, during the last 29 years who have become lifelong friends. To be awarded for something that I love doing is the greatest privilege.

“I’m (also) very proud to see Dennis’ hard work and dedication recognised by Her Majesty as part of her Birthday Honours. His commitment and success in increasing public trust and transparency in policing cannot be underestimated and I look forward to continuing working together at BTP to ensure that we always place the diverse communities we serve at the heart of our policing approach.”

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