I was at home when I received an email. In fact in a discussion with a fellow AOK'er when the news came through whilst I was checking for an email for something unrelated.
From the Cabinet Office no less! I initially thought it was spam! ha! I opened it up and the news was clear as day. I had received a BEM.
In all honesty I had no idea what that was! So I asked them and they explained. For those that don't know
#Wikipedia reference - The British Empire Medal is granted in recognition of meritorious civil or military service.
I was expected to keep it secret for several weeks! My heart bursting with pride.
I cried happy tears, but it's only a few days now that after the award day that I really realise the impact on what this has meant for me.
I never once imagined that I would be recognised for stepping up during Covid. I did what anyone could have done. Yes I was in fear alot of the time as per my previous blog post. Making big decisions, heading up a large scale operation which meant over 8000 people were fed during the year. I have always believed that I am a very humble person. Awards for me have never been particularly important to me. The reward for helping someone is seeing them smile. That they needn't do their crisis alone. That someone listened.
Upon reflection this last few days this award represents so much. As I stated previously about being a Police Officer, that I had served for 21 years in uniform, serving the Queen and the Community. That when I left I felt lost. I had lost my identity. Yes I was a Mrs, a mum and yes that is so so important to me. But before Mum I was in a lifelong career. Which ended out of my control.
I had given up so much to be a Police officer, friendships dwindled, non-sustainable relationships, even giving up time with family due to shift work and missing family events. But Yet I loved the job. I loved the rush. I loved being in a position where I could make change. So for that to be taken from me in a heartbeat, was heartbreaking.
I had PC in front of my name for 17 years. SC before that. 21 years.
But now, as I receive this award, it represents new beginnings. I can leave the PC behind and those 3 letters represent change. They represent a new me. Yes I cannot get rid of the awful symptoms of PTSD that shadow me. BUT I can decide to close that door of PC Kerry Snuggs, and be Kerry Snuggs BEM. Proudly representing a community that care about others. I am in a different position now. One that will use this opportunity to bring about change for others. To speak up for those who need support in our community. It ratifies that what I created with AOK (with the support of the community) was the right decision for the community. I am proud to serve this community as Kerry Snuggs BEM.
It is humbling that someone took their time out of their day to nominate me. I thank you. You know who you are. x
Thank you to those friends of old, and friends of New who stuck by me through the difficult times, and on the other end of it, still here now. Thank you to all of the volunteers who work tirelessly for AOK. It is a privilege to know you. And to my family who I know are incredibly proud right now who stuck by me during the worst and best times. To my husband, who is my absolute world and rock xx
Bert I dedicate this to you. For your loyalty, your unconditional love and for saving me.
Who knew that the girl standing there in the window when she was young, standing there not knowing what her future entailed, the sadness she felt when no-one wanted to play with her; was going to become a BEM.
Believe in the power of change and first and foremost believe in yourselves xx
Kerry Snuggs BEM <<<<<<< FEELS FUNNY WRITING THAT :)