Our member Hardip Lawana says he was “shocked and surprised” to be made an MBE and hopes his award will help him raise the profile of mental health, diversity, and inclusion.

Hardip is a bereavement counsellor for Hillingdon Mind in west London and a senior officer with the Border Force. His award is for services to border security and to workplace wellbeing in the Home Office.

It was announced in the New Year’s Honours list.

Rush of emotion

“I was shocked and surprised and wondered who had nominated me,” he said. “Then there was a rush of emotion and how my parents would have felt so proud of me.”

Hardip is also an instructor for Mental Health First Aid England and chair of Harmondsworth Village Horticultural Association.

“I’ve used horticulture to bring people together from different backgrounds with a real focus on mental health and helping people integrate back into society after self-isolation,” he said.

“This award will allow me to promote mental health, diversity and inclusion, on many more forums.”

He added: “My family and children are looking forward to the award ceremony and already deciding what they will wear.

“It will be a pleasure to meet a royal in person.”