A Transport for London worker from Thornton Heath has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and described as a ‘true inspiration’ for his work supporting the elderly and disabled during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ibrar Akram, who works in the control centre at London Dial-a-Ride, manages a team which schedules the bookings for disabled and older people who rely on the service to get around London, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM).
He has received the award in recognition for his outstanding work and dedication in ensuring that Dial-a-Ride remained able to provide support to its customers and NHS keyworkers during the pandemic.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Akram’s inspiring adaptation of the Dial-a-Ride service during the coronavirus pandemic ensured food and deliveries continued to reach the most vulnerable Londoners and our essential workers, and is a testament to the values of community and support that lie at the heart of our city.”
When lockdown was announced, Akram, worked quickly to adapt Dial-a-Ride services from providing transport to enable older and disabled people to get around London to using it to deliver food and shopping to them. He organised and led the support effort partnering with the London Emergency Planning Group (LEPG) to identify where help was most needed.
Initially, the programme worked to get 100 deliveries of personal protective equipment to different NHS hubs, but within a few days he made arrangements to manage and schedule deliveries across Newham.Through the pandemic, Akram also made arrangements with the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Southall to distribute hot food to those shielding at home and weekend lunches to workers at the local NHS trust.
By the end of June, Akram personally led and managed the scheduling and delivery of around 60,000 deliveries across London, providing food and deliveries to thousands of people. His unwavering dedication to this work, which he completed alongside his day-to-day work, led to glowing feedback.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner said: “. In this unsettling time, his perseverance and commitment are a true inspiration.