Hackney councillor and health campaigner awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List
A Hackney councillor was honoured with an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, announced on Saturday.
Queensbridge Cllr Patrick Vernon, 51, from Lower Clapton, was given the award for services to the reduction of health inequalities in ethnic minorities.
He is the CEO of The Afiya Trust, a national charity which works to reduce health and social care inequality, and has dedicated over 20 years to campaigning for better access to healthcare for minority groups.
He also worked for East London and the City Health Authority and chaired the City and Hackney Drugs Action Team.
He said: “I think the OBE acknowledges all the hard work I have done.
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“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet because I’m too busy working. It’s great when people put you forward and it’s brilliant that your peers recognise your achievement and the work I have done at a national level.
“There is still more to do particularly around the new changing structure of the NHS and the role of local government in leading on public health. I hope that I will be in the position to use my OBE to further advance these issues.”
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He dedicated the OBE to his parents, Norris and Avis Vernon, who he said made many personal sacrifices to come to Britain and bring up him and his four sisters.
The Afiya Trust chair Sola Afuape said: “This is apt recognition of his tireless work advocating for the rights, health and well being of BME communities across the country. He has been unstinting in pressing for major reforms to health and social care and challenging the barriers to equality of access and provision for all.”
Besides health and social work, Cllr Vernon promotes black history and heritage. In 2010 he launched a campaign which asked people to vote for 100 Great Black Britains.