The BCAh category is typically for an individual who has promoted healthcare in any or all of its forms. The individual may have devoted time, energy or effort into helping the community retain or improve its health awareness, may have lobbied to build new facilities or created innovative approaches to healthcare education. It includes any individual working in the healthcare sector both private and public, from porters to physicians and carers to caterers. Individuals who save lives, change lives and prolong lives are suitable for this category. People who brighten the days of those who are unwell or unable to care for themselves are often deserving of praise and recognition.
As a BCAh Medalist Suzanne Fernando MBE was invited to attend a Special Recognition and Formal Presentation at the Palace of Westminster in London. She was awarded and honoured the BCA for services to Military Veterans, Autism and Cervical Cancer where she received a specially struck medal of recognition inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’.
Suzanne left the military scarred, broken and suffering with PTSD, then battled with cervical cancer during her second pregnancy, she nearly passed away. At 26 years old coping with a toddler with autism, a newborn and battling cervical cancer, pushed Suzanne’s spirit to the limit.
Since that time, Suzanne has been an active ambassador for many causes during the last 20 years, but her main passion is improving her community, local services, perceptions and health and wellbeing. Changing perceptions of people with Autism is important to Suzanne as her daughter suffering from the condition. Additionally, Suzanne has supported families with autism, military veterans and women suffering from cervical cancer, causes all very close to her heart.
Suzanne served her country as a Military Policewoman and left with honours as a decorated veteran. Leading by example and building a legacy of what was to come. On leaving the military she of-ten felt ex-servicemen and women had nowhere to turn.
Suicide, loneliness, homeless and mental health have been increasing in the veteran community, but Suzanne has ensured support is available.
Suzanne’s entrepreneurial spirit has been shown with her risk-taking and innovation and she has succeeded within an ever changing and difficult society. As a result of her pain and suffering, she has gone on to inspire, motivate and encourage people coping with cervical cancer, autism and any issues relating to veterans.
The purpose of the BCA programme is to recognise individuals that are making a positive contribution to their
community, society or chosen cause, in the hope that it encourages them to continue and others to emulate
their good deeds. It is important to the BCA that people are recognised as widely as possible for the good that they do, to help change perceptions of young people often portrayed negatively in the media. BCA recipients are all extraordinary people from across the country who have a commitment to improving the lives of others. They come from all over the country to be honoured at The Palace of Westminster. The programme represents multi-cultural Britain welcoming
nominations for any person that is committed to making a positive impact on their community or their chosen cause.
The event was hosted by TV star Matt Allwright, who stated I’m so delighted to be helping out at the awards. It’s a really great opportunity to remind ourselves of the amazing contribution people make, and recognise the good things going on in our society’. Suzanne was presented with her medal by Deborah Darlington, Head of Brand & Marketing, The Co-operative Bank “It’s an honour to be a part of the BCA Awards and to present Suzanne with her award. Despite facing her own challenges, Suzanne has selflessly put the needs of others before her own with amazing results. Her strength and courage is inspirational.”
The BCAh category Suzanne was nominated in is typically for an individual who has promoted healthcare in any or all of its forms. The individual may have devoted time, energy or effort into helping the community retain or improve its health awareness, may have lobbied to build new facilities or created innovative approaches to healthcare education. It includes any individual working in the healthcare sector both private and public, from porters to physicians and carers to caterers. Individuals who save lives, change lives and prolong lives are suitable for this category. People who brighten the days of those who are unwell or unable to care for themselves are often deserving of praise and recognition.
Suzanne said: "I'd like to say 'Thanks' to everyone at the Palace of Westminster, Church House, House of Lords, the British Citizen Awards team, Lord Dholakia, Dame Mary Perkins, Sara Yarrow - Business Development Director and Matt Albright of Rouge Traders for making the day so special, and as I told them up on stage as I collected my award, us Scot's like to say.... "It's been pure dead brilliant". The highlight of my day though was meeting fellow veterans Frank McGowan, Tony Nisbet, Archie Dryburgh and Tony Foulds, Tony whom you'll know from recent TV appearances as the gentleman who has dedicated 66 years to the fallen from WW11 continues to look after the memorial to the crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress 'Mi Amigo' that crashed at Endcliffe Park in 1944.
I was overwhelmed with the award and will continue my volunteering for as long as my health allows. Am looking forward to what the future holds and attending Buckingham Palace next where I'll be presented with my MBE".