Shropshire Covid heroine receives MBE from King Charles
A Shropshire woman has been presented with an MBE by King Charles for her care of young adults with learning disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Christine "Chrissie" Simmons, aged 62, from Pontesbury, was working as a housekeeping and health and safety co-ordinator and infection control lead at Condover College during the crisis.
The college supports over-18s who have moderate to severe learning difficulties and additional complex needs.
Dedicated to her role, Chrissie protected the 140-plus students and residents with cleaning regimes and testing throughout the pandemic.
Her work was described as "marvellous" by chief executive Vikki Pryce.
She said that the task ahead of Chrissie and the college's staff at the start of the Covid crisis had been all the more stark due to the particularly vulnerable nature of its residents.
They were in a demographic of facing up to 30 more times the likelihood of death due to Covid.
Fortunately, all remained well.
Chrissie said: "I was a seamstress in my younger days.
"At the beginning of the Covid pandemic we could not get masks and gowns and so I actually made them."
Chrissie, who now works as a healthcare assistant at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, received her award from King Charles at Windsor Castle on January 31.
She said: "I am very proud of the award.
"I was extremely nervous. The King put me at ease and asked me what had brought me to Windsor.
"I was extremely humbled by the award."
Chrissie was one of 12 people from Shropshire recognised in the late Queen's 2022 New Year's Honours list.