Dagenham heroes named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

A group of individuals from Barking and Dagenham have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to society, and have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list to receive MBE's.

Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Medal
 

The list includes a former police borough commander, a long-serving former councillor and a community champion.


Ch Supt Matthew Bell was formerly in charge of Barking and Dagenham police force before he made the move to another borough. He has now received an MBE in recognition of his work to build a better relationship between the local community and the police service.


He said: “I’ve had a fantastic 27 years in the Met and this award is the icing on the cake. It was a challenging time in Barking but the plans worked and it’s a completely different borough now to the one it was before.”

 

Frederick Jones was also awarded with an MBE – Fred is a local resident and was appointed honorary alderman in 2006, a traditional title given to long-serving councillors. Mr Jones served as a councillor for 42 years and until the May 2006 local elections he was the longest serving member, holding office since 1964. He also served a term as Mayor in the early 1990’s.


Over the years Mr Jones has dedicated himself to many causes and sits on various committees including; education committee and the libraries committee. He also volunteers his services every two weeks on a Friday for Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham & Rainham. He helps in the organising and running of advice surgeries, a role that he has given his time to fill for many years.

 

Rita Giles was also made MBE for services to the community.


Rita has lived in Dagenham since during the war when her family home in Bow was bombed. As one of many siblings she started out her work in the community, volunteering her services where she could at the age of 14-years old.

The main focus of her work over the past 40 years has been on community issues such as; youth work community cohesion and housing issues.


Her dedication to the community also extends to law; she was Justice of the Peace for 23 years at

Barking Court
.

Rita Giles
 

Council leader Liam Smith praised the recipients and said the recognition was “a testament to the selfless service they have rendered to local people throughout the years”.

He added the honours also help “put Barking and Dagenham on the map”.