BID chief executive receives MBE for service to community

Oct 10, 2020

Melanie Beck takes a break during a litter pick in Central Milton Keynes.

by ANDREW GIBBS e: news@businessmk.co.uk

THE CHIEF executive of MyMiltonKeynes Business Improvement District has been awarded a MBE in the 2020 Commonwealth Honours List.

Melanie Beck has received the honour for services to the community. She has led the city centre’s campaign to tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as working with other organisations around the city.

When shielded residents needed supplies, Melanie contacted her network to offer MyMiltonKeynes’ resources, including the employee buses, landscaping vehicles and her family, who were roped in to help due to the BID team being furloughed, to deliver daily support to those most in need. 

Melanie Beck (second from left) supporting the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

When the NHS called for more personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses and those on the frontline, she teamed up with local volunteer Matt Clarke, whose day job was designing lighting equipment and water bottles. He began producing more than 40 face shields every day in his garage, which MyMiltonKeynes delivered to Milton Keynes Hospital and other surgeries and clinics in need.

A plea from fitness studio Energie Fitness Milton Keynes at Kiln Farm for care packs for community nurses saw MyMiltonKeynes donate 80 surplus lip balms. 

When the government announced the reopening of businesses, the retail and hospitality sectors, Melanie was at the forefront of a partnership project with Milton Keynes Council, the Federation of Small Businesses, Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership, Destination Milton Keynes and MK Business Council, to develop a plan to support the economic recovery of Milton Keynes and the surrounding area.

Melanie Beck

Melanie said: “I am absolutely flummoxed to have been awarded a MBE in the 2020 Commonwealth Honours list. I have always taken immense pride in supporting and promoting Milton Keynes and when the community and our NHS needed it most, I was ready and waiting – along with my family – to do whatever I could to help us all get through a truly terrible time.

“I am immensely proud to be able to include ‘MBE’ within my title and would like to say a huge thank you to all those at Milton Keynes Hospital, MK Hospital Charity, volunteer Matt Clarke, Milton Keynes Council and all of the amazing BID members and local organisations that continue to work with us to make positive change happen in CMK.”

Trustees chair at Milton Keynes Community Foundation receives honour

The chair of trustees at Miltion Keynes Community Foundation has also received a MBE in the Commonwealth Honours List. 

Kurshida Mirza has been a trustee since 2017 and was appointed chair in September.

Kurshida Mirza

She has also served on the property committee, grants panels , governance review group and Diversity Equity and Inclusion working group, as well as helping to organise events including International Women’s Day.

She has a research, policy and strategy background working within local and central government.  She held many portfolios in government including leading on housing for vulnerable and older people, community engagement, tackling worklessness and homelessness. 

Kurshida is a former chair of Citizens MK and founder of the interfaith café Trubys Garden Tea Room and the Great Get Together Iftar MK, which brings people from all faiths and the wider community to join Muslims during Ramadan to break the fast. 

“I am truly humbled by this recognition,” she said. “All thanks is to Allah and the success of both Trubys Garden Tea Room and the Great Get Together Iftar are because of all our volunteers and partners who work tirelessly throughout the year.”

Miltn Keynes Community Foundation chief executive Ian Revell said: “We are delighted that Kurshida has been honoured in this year’s honours list. It is thoroughly deserved as she is such a wonderful community champion, bringing people together and bringing out the best of everyone she works with.”

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