Area Well Represented in New Year's Honours

A headteacher, a doctor and a local volunteer awarded MBEs

Mark Siswick and Syeda IslamMark Siswick and Syeda Islam

Three people from the borough are among those who received awards in this Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

They include the executive headteacher of Chesterton School in Battersea, a local volunteer and a doctor from Tooting. All have been awarded an MBE.

Mark Siswick has received the honour for services to education. He is also a co-founder of the Wandle Learning Trust which, through the Wandle Teaching School Alliance, works to provide training and support and share best practice for teachers and schools across London. During the pandemic he helped to create a national home learning programme.

The Alliance has praised Mr Siswick for “dedicating his career to getting the best outcomes for all children no matter their background - a well-deserved award.”

Wandsworth Council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services Cllr Will Sweet said, “Mark thoroughly deserves this recognition. His vision and leadership has inspired teachers and made a real difference to the lives of children at Chesterton and across London.”

Battersea resident and local volunteer Syeda Islam has received an MBE for services to the community in Battersea, particularly during the Covid-19 response.

Mrs Islam has volunteered for the local community for the past 15 years, and during the lockdown cooked and delivered up to 200 hot meals at a time to vulnerable people living in five local sheltered housing schemes.

She ran ‘Syeda’s Kitchen’ for 24 weeks, mainly on her own, or with the help of her husband and son. She initially funded ingredients and PPE herself, and then successfully fundraised, including a donation from the Rotary Club of Battersea Park, where she is a past president.

She said: “I am surprised and overwhelmed by being honoured by Her Majesty. I only did what so many others would have done when those less fortunate sometimes get forgotten because of the sheer scale of a hardship that hits the community.”

Council leader Cllr Ravi Govindia said, “It is community heroes like Syeda that have helped us through the storm of this ongoing pandemic. The whole borough owes her and others like her their gratitude and I am delighted that her efforts have been recognised in this way.”

Tooting resident Dr Eve Corner has been awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to health education during Covid-19.

Dr Corner, a lecturer in physiotherapy at Brunel University London and critical care physiotherapist, led the design and delivery of a high-quality national training scheme for NHS staff to prepare them for re-deployment to intensive care units to care for patients with the virus.

Dr Eve Corner
Dr Eve Corner. Picture: Brunel University London

Most of these staff were from other clinical disciplines and had not undertaken respiratory or critical care work for several years. In just five days Dr Corner and her team developed pre-recorded lectures and interactive tutorials with specialists in critical care. More than 2,000 clinicians have benefited from the training.

"Dr Corner's MBE is richly deserved," said Prof Paul Hellewell, Brunel's Vice-Provost and Dean of the College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. "Many organisations and individuals were involved in developing these education programmes, but Dr Corner has been the person initiating, leading and undertaking this work.”

Cabinet member for adult social care and health at Wandsworth Council, Cllr Clare Salier, said, “Dr Corner’s MBE was richly deserved and we are very proud that a resident of our borough has played such a crucial role in the fight against Covid.

“But I’d also like to thank the many thousands of doctors, nurses, care staff and others who have worked so hard to help people during this pandemic. They may not have been given any special recognition or reward, but I can assure them that their contribution is greatly appreciated by all of us.”

If you are aware of anyone else from the borough who has received an award in the list this year please let us know on

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January 5, 2021