Two UNISON members have had their vital work protecting the country from floods – and helping communities deal with them when they do happen – recognised in the New Year Honours.
Carol Holt and Peter Spencer work for the Environment Agency – and each received an MBE in the awards announced at the weekend. But both praised the colleagues and teams they work with.
Carol, who is based in north west England, is deputy director for flood incident management and has worked for the agency since 1991.
Responding to the award, she told the agency: “It’s great to be part of a team delivering public services that matter to people’s lives and to work with colleagues who care.
“I have been privileged to be part of teams delivering environmental improvements all my career – from my early days working on river rehabilitation projects in East Lancashire and Merseyside to, more recently, how we prepare for, respond to and recover from major flood incidents.
“So, what I enjoy is working with fantastic people who are doing great things that make a lasting difference.”
Flood hydrologist Peter, also from the North West, advises the agency on forecasting floods and modelling their impact. He has worked in the sector since 1974.
He declared himself “humbled” to receive the honour, out of “the many people in the organisation.
“It reflects on the importance of the Environment Agency’s technical capabilities and our great teams of dedicated people.”
Andrew Dobbie, UNISON national officer for the union’s water, environment and transport service group, congratulated the members on their awards, which were “richly deserved recognition for their many years of public service keeping our people safe from floods.
“As they say, this has been a team effort with great colleagues also contributing, and the award in part recognises them too, but their individual contribution is rightly recognised this week.”
He added that their honours “reflect the unsung work done day in and day out by workers at the Environment Agency, but we see the same selfless commitment across UNISON’s membership, in hospitals, councils, schools and elsewhere.
“These are the real heroes who make this a decent country for us all and it’s wonderful to see this recognised in the New Year’s Honours.”