Hemel Hempstead man named in Queen's Birthday Honours for his efforts during Covid-19 pandemic

The 54-year-old has received a British Empire Medal (BEM)

Friday, 11th June 2021, 10:36 pm

A man from Hemel Hempstead has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for the work he has done during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jon Pratten, 54, chief executive officer at Jubilee House Care Trust, received a BEM for services to People with Learning Disabilities in Hertfordshire during Covid-19.

The British Empire Medal (BEM) is awarded for a ‘hands-on’ service to the local community. This could be a long-term charitable or voluntary activity, or innovative work of a relatively short duration that has made a significant difference.

Jon Pratten

Since the earliest signs that the coronavirus was going to be a huge force to be reckoned with, Jon has worked tirelessly to navigate the charity through what can only be described as the most challenging time in it's 45 year history as a care provider.

Jo has remained ahead of the curve at every step since then, ordering PPE for the Support Workers, bio-fogging the services, working with the team to improve the processes and putting in place as many improvements to the policies and procedures as he possibly could to protect very vulnerable residents, service users and employees alike.

He has guided a team to be as responsive as they can to every aspect of this crisis, from additional training, new ways of working and taking everything into the virtual realm, to organising teams of volunteers to do shopping and collect medication for residents, so the support workers did not have to go to the shops and place themselves and their loved ones in harm's way.

Jon also arranged personal gift bags with masks, hand cream and hand sanitiser for all staff to take home.

In response to restrictions putting a stop to visits Jon quickly installed webcams and set up video calls to help service users stay connected with their families, which helped keep them settled when they were missing loved ones due to the restrictions.

He also worked with Hertfordshire County Council to align the charity's approach closely with theirs and has even guided some external thinking in several areas, tirelessly researching this awful virus and putting in hours and hours of planning and strategizing to help combat the harrowing effect.

Throughout the pandemic Jon has maintained an open door policy, so anyone in the team can call him about anything that is worrying them, big or small, at any time.

Jon has also put time into prioritising the mental health and wellbeing of members ensuring they have free counselling and regular updates from him to the wider team about all that has been going on and he is also one of the first to set up regular testing for everyone.

Jon said: "I was a bit shocked but it's great to receive a BEM, it's not just about me though, the whole team has been amazing.

"We are almost at the end, hopefully. What the team and the people we care for have gone through has been difficult, we're hoping to now be coming out of it.

"I am proud, we have managed to keep all our service users safe, not one of the 120 children and adults caught Covid. This is recognition of what a great job everyone has done."