Local Susannah has been awarded an MBE in the 2023 Kings Birthday Honours for her services to Ukraine.
The Kings Birthday Honours are awarded each year to recognise the achievements and service of people across the UK. The honours are awarded in a number of categories, including public service, the arts, and sport.
When news of the invasion of Ukraine arrived in the UK, Susannah and her fellow trustees immediately stepped up into action and put together the North Devon with Ukraine Team to provide wrap around care and signposting services to Ukrainian guests and their sponsors/hosts.
Susannah and the Pickwell team’s work started with being one of the pioneers of the of Community Sponsorship scheme. Community Sponsorship groups help displaced families to make a home and rebuild their lives supported by groups of volunteers. Responding to the Ukraine crisis was an instinctive and natural next step for The Pickwell Foundation.
Susannah and the Ukraine advisory team work alongside North Devon and Torridge District councils to ensure guests are safe and supported as they resettle into a new culture and a completely new way of life here in Northern Devon.
Susannah said: “My greatest hope is that this award will be a chance to highlight the work The Pickwell Foundation does across ALL the schemes, and ultimately bring a positive message for welcome, compassion and the joy that this work brings” – Susannah Baker MBE.”
Trustee and director for the asylum and refugee work – Susannah Baker – is co-chair of the ‘Community Sponsorship Alliance – UK’. This advocacy group meet regularly with the Home Office to help steer and advise on sponsorship policy and growing the scheme.
Thanks to the impact of the work with the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ Scheme, the exceptional relationship forged with Local Authorities and demonstrating social impact in such a rural location, Susannah was invited to work on the core delivery team with the Ukraine Taskforce within DLUHC, in order to engage with how the policies around Homes for Ukraine have an impact on the ground with the work.Susannah also sits on a ‘Refugee Strategic Engagement Group’ which sits within the Home Office and covers all areas of policy formation within refugee resettlement.
Congratulations to Susannah on this well-deserved honour. The entire Foundation team are incredibly proud to work alongside you in supporting people and planet!