Author: Express reporter
A woman who has worked tirelessly to help Syrian refugees find a new life in Kent has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).
Anne Forbes was one of six recipients presented with the BEM at a ceremony hosted by the Lord Lieutenant Viscount De L’Isle MBE at Penshurst Place.
Her nomination follows her “significant contribution” to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the UK.
The first of the Syrian refugees arrived in Ashford in December 2015, after Ashford Borough Council was one of the first councils which pledged to take them in and find homes for the families who arrived.
Her work focuses on helping refugees establish themselves as part of the community, despite their lack of language skills and dependency on public transport.
She has been instrumental in helping Syrian refugees in Ashford rebuild their lives and establish themselves as an integral part of the community.
She has also guided local authorities across the South East with preparing to resettle refugees arriving in their areas and is now providing material to help local authorities across the country.
Anne Forbes, the Refugee Resettlement Co-ordinator for Ashford Borough Council said: “I am so very proud to have received the British Empire Medal.
“The award reflects the enormous contribution of so many individuals and organisations who continue to work incredibly hard to develop services and create opportunities for refugees making new lives in the Borough of Ashford and the rest of the UK.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.
“It is an honour to have been afforded the opportunity to welcome these new members of our Ashford family.”
The BEM was established in 1917 as part of the Order of the British Empire, and is awarded for meritorious public or voluntary service within local communities.