Two British residents have been given awards in the first honours list since King Charles came to the throne following the death of Elizabeth II II in September.
Michele Masson, President of Help Vega Baja, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to British Nationals in Spain in the New Year Honours List.
There are more than 2,000 British Nationals living in the area covered by Help Vega Baja and for many of them the charity has been a lifeline in difficulty times. Since becoming its President in 2015, Michele Masson has steered the charity through the twin challenges of Brexit and COVID, as well as the severe flooding that hit the Vega in September 2019 – providing a source of constant support to the community when they needed it most.
The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott said: Under her leadership, the charity has become one of our key partners in the region – assisting with complex consular cases and acting as our eyes and ears on the ground. During the pandemic, Michele worked with us on a partnership pilot project to distribute consular funding via food vouchers to vulnerable families whose income had been lost due to COVID restrictions. Michele is a wonderful example of leading by doing and I am delighted that she has been honoured for her work.”
Beverley Corbett, trustee and volunteer at Noah’s Ark, has also been awarded an MBE for services to British Nationals. Beverley has been a leading influence on charitable and community work in Tenerife for over 17 years, volunteering initially at The Living Room and then co-founding Noah’s Ark.
Her focus is on providing support – of whatever kind – to those who need it most, when they most need it. As well as her ongoing work with the homeless, the bereaved and victims of crime, during the pandemic she organised the delivery of food and other essentials to the most vulnerable.
Beverley Corbett said: “I am pleased to accept this award, but the work is just what I do. And I am so grateful and thankful for all the skilled and willing helpers that the Lord sends to work alongside me.”