Romford catering assistant thought Empire Medal “was a joke”

A catering assistant from Romford said she thought it was a joke when she was told she would be receiving an Empire Medal in the New Year Honours List.

Sandra Coats, 57, works at Barking & Dagenham College, who nominated her for the gong.

She said: “Absolutely delighted, I am over the moon.

“It is a great honour and I am very grateful to Barking & Dagenham College. It is fantastic to know that my efforts have been recognised.”

Sandra, who has worked in the college’s refectory for six years, particularly enjoys working with the young people, some of whom have learning difficulties and disabilities and need extra help.

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She added that when she got her letter telling her about her nomination: “I thought it was someone having a joke with me.

“I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my family, especially my husband Rob and my daughter Michelle.”

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The college said that Sandra’s patience, kindness and willingness to go that extra mile every day that attracts praise.

A spokesman said she is “an unsung hero striving for customer satisfaction who puts her all into everything. We are so impressed by her attitude and commitment.”

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