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Queen's Birthday Honours: Bishop's Stortford woman Angela Khalil awarded British Empire Medal for 'selfless' work with the British Red Cross in Essex

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A "selfless" woman who has volunteered with the British Red Cross in Essex since the 1980s was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Angela Khalil used to live in Manuden, where she chaired the parish council and village hall committee, and is a former Stansted parish councillor who now lives in Bishop's Stortford. She was awarded the British Empire Medal for her decades of work with the charity.

She said: "I'm quite overwhelmed – this is the last thing I would ever have expected. I’ve just told my daughter and she was thrilled to bits. This is the first time something like this has ever happened to anyone in our family.”

Angela Khalil was awarded the British Empire Award for her volunteer work with the British Red Cross (57145541)
Angela Khalil was awarded the British Empire Award for her volunteer work with the British Red Cross (57145541)

Angela’s volunteering career with the Red Cross movement began while she was living in Australia in the 1960s. She went on to serve in Papua New Guinea and Libya before moving to the UK in the 1980s.

She organised numerous fundraising events, including the annual Essex Autumn Gift Fair, which has raised more than £300,000 for the British Red Cross over 25 years.

Angela said that her drive to volunteer with the charity originally came from her father: “He always had a soft spot for the Red Cross. He was a police officer, and during the war he saw how they looked after prisoners of war, so I always had enormous respect for the organisation.

“I started as a fundraiser going door to door collecting donations in a bucket, then I became a local organiser, and from there I got more involved in emergency response, particularly at Stansted Airport.

"We set up a team there which helped refugees from the Balkans, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Uganda. We would support them to get into accommodation through the local council, and we would stay in contact and keep supporting them once they had been housed.”

In 2015, Angela was appointed the charity’s volunteer president for Essex, serving in the role for six years. She was quick to praise the work of her colleagues.

“I’ve worked with fantastic volunteers all through my time with the Red Cross,” she said. “They were always available, they always responded, whether it was for fundraising or a 2am call to a situation at the airport. I could never have done anything without them.”

British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson said: “We would like to offer Angela our sincerest congratulations. We're delighted that her work has been recognised on a national level.

"We're so proud of the service she has given to the British Red Cross over the past 40 years through her local fundraising efforts and in her role as volunteer president for Essex.

"I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank her for her tremendous hard work and dedication. This honour is extremely well deserved.”

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