Five Morrisons staff honoured with British Empire Medal

Five Morrisons colleagues are among those named in this year's Queen’s New Years honours list - each receiving a British Empire Medal - for their tireless efforts to support local communities and deliver essential services throughout the pandemic.

Working across Morrisons stores and sites, their hard work and determination has led to thousands of food bank donations, higher safety measures across Morrisons stores and more food on shelves during this unprecedented year.

Michelle Leary, a ‘Community Champion’ in Morrisons Basingstoke, said, “I had this idea to create ‘pick-up packs’ at the front of the store for customers to help donate to food banks. I’d call my local groups and find out the items they needed the most, then create my ‘pick-up packs’ in paper bags and label them with the price for the items. Customers could then pick one up, pay for the bag with their shopping, and drop them off on their way out.'

Myra Smith - Community Champion, Dumfries, began posting notes to vulnerable neighbours in the first lockdown offering to pick up essential shopping items for them and delivering them after she finished work. At Easter, she delivered over 500 Easter eggs to support local key workers and hand-delivered Easter eggs to doorsteps of houses where children had put rainbow displays in the window in support of the NHS.

Neil Ferries - Warehouse Manager, Kent, played a vital role at the start of the pandemic safeguarding the delivery of fresh foods to around 80 Morrisons stores in the south of England where local residents would have faced empty shelves after issues developed at a Morrisons warehouse in Bridgewater, Somerset.

He travelled 200 miles away from his family home in Kent to work at his new base for the next eight weeks. Managing a team of around 300 colleagues across various shifts, Neil turned around the site and managed to stabilise deliveries to Morrisons stores.

Pam Abbott, a ‘Community Champion’ at a Morrisons depot in Wakefield, worked tirelessly to ensure fresh foods and other essentials continued to make their way to local food banks, youth groups and animal shelters when donations from their regular sources were running low.

Ella Collins, Occupational Health Manager, has consistently gone above and beyond in supporting Morrisons thousands of colleagues and working with Public Health England to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic, Ella quickly established robust safety processes on reporting positive cases of Covid-19 for colleagues and managers to follow so that stores could continue to operate, providing essential groceries to customers.

Morrisons Chief Executive, David Potts said, “Our colleagues have risen to the challenge through Covid-19, supporting customers and each other in an extremely difficult year.

'I want to say thank you to Michelle, Neil, Myra, Pam and Ella - for their enormous contributions to their local communities and the business. We are extremely proud of all they have achieved, along with thousands of our colleagues who have gone above and beyond this year.”