A charity healthcare worker who has supported former members of the Armed Forces for more than four decades has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emrys Owen, who is a long-serving lead healthcare assistant at the Royal Star and Garter care home, told of his pride at being awarded the honour at an investiture ceremony in Guildford.
Emrys, from Dorking in Surrey, was awarded his BEM after he was earlier named in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2021.
He was presented with his medal at the Tudor mansion Loseley House in Guildford by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, on September 20.
- Letters With Love Cheer Up Veterans At Royal Star & Garter Care Homes
- 'I Couldn't Imagine Doing Anything Else': Military Charity Volunteer Awarded British Empire Medal
- Military Division Of The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021 In Full
Emrys, speakng after being presented with his medal, said:
"I would say receiving the BEM was the proudest moment of my working life.
"When my citation was read out, I nearly cried. I had to really try to stop the tears when I collected the medal."
The carer has worked for Royal Star & Garter, which provides compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, since 1982 and was originally based in Richmond.
He has worked at the charity’s award-winning home in Surbiton since 2013.
One Royal Air Force veteran named Michael, who is a resident at the Surbiton home and who himself has an MBE for services to Scouting, spoke highly of the work Emrys does, saying:
"His devotion to his work is extraordinary.
"Emrys takes tremendous care in looking after residents, and I’m delighted that it’s now been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen."
Pauline Shaw, the Royal Star & Garter's Director of Care, who herself has been with the charity for 20 years, said:
"Emrys is an outstanding carer. He is dedicated, compassionate, and leads by example.
"We have been lucky to have him for so long, and we’re all immensely proud of him.
"I’m delighted that his hard work has been acknowledged in this way."
Helena Maher, Surbiton Royal Star & Garter Home Manager, said:
"I count my lucky stars to have Emrys on my team.
"He’s a remarkable Lead Healthcare Assistant and a great role model.
"Everyone at the home is delighted for him."
Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton is welcoming new residents. For more information visit www.starandgarter.org/surbiton
Cover Image: Emrys Owen holds his British Empire Medal (Picture: Royal Star & Garter).