Birmingham student, Sufyaan Patel, has been awarded Medalist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for voluntary work and services to the community.
The BEM, founded in 1917, is awarded for meritorious civil service worthy of recognition by the Crown. The award was reintroduced this year by David Cameron (having been out of circulation since 1993) to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee and to recognise the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities.
Sufyaan has been involved in extensive voluntary work throughout school and university for which he has now been recognised with the prestigious BEM award. Sufyaan’s volunteering activities include working with young people at the Risk-taking Behaviour Project, where he helped to raise awareness about substance misuse, community safety and general health issues through approaching young people in the community with educational materials and offering first-hand support and advice. Sufyaan also worked with Youth Action to help homeless people as well as doing unpaid work for the Royal Blackburn Hospital, the British Science Association, Friends of the Earth and Brownhill Pharmacy.
Sufyaan is a final year student studying Dental Therapy and Hygiene as part of a collaborative programme run by Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust and the University of Birmingham and he will graduate next summer. In addition to his recent accolade, Sufyaan is also working towards the University’s Personal Skills Award (PSA), an award-winning employability award for undergraduate students, which enables students to develop, recognise, and articulate the skills and attributes that they have developed at Birmingham and in extra-curricular activities, in preparation for the graduate recruitment and development processes.
Sufyaan said: ‘Being awarded this prestigious honour has made me feel extremely humble, proud and honoured. The presentation held at Lancaster castle truly was an amazing occasion, where I met some fascinating people who shared my enthusiasm for making our communities a better place, whatever their particular passion. I want to thank and extend my gratitude to the people who nominated me, and some others who I will be forever indebted towards: my family, friends, CVS volunteer centre, my tutors at the University of Birmingham and Blackburn college, as well as the organisations that I have volunteered for, in the past and currently, for all their continued support, assistance and guidance.’
Carolyn Inman, Director of the School of Dental Hygiene and Therapy said: “We are delighted that Sufyaan’s outstanding contribution to the community has been recognised with such a prestigious award and offer him congratulations from the whole department.”