Cordell Ray MBE It has been announced that Cordell Ray, Chief Executive of the Cheltenham based charity Caring for Communities and People (CCP) has been appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Birthday Honours List. Cordell gave the following reaction to the appointment: “When I heard that I was to receive this award, I was in total shock. I also felt tremendously honoured. I have heard it said before, but this is undoubtedly a case of the award not being just for me but more a case of being for each and every member of staff and volunteer at CCP, and recognition of the fantastic work they do in the community”. “I am immensely proud to be leading this organisation and of what we achieve, making a difference to peoples’ lives day in day out. The way in which we continued to do this during the first spike of COVID was quite remarkable, as was how we responded to increased demand for emergency food parcels when people were most in need”. “I very much hope that this award will help make even more people aware of the vital work we do in the community and potentially result in more individuals and organisations wanting to support us. That really would be a tremendous outcome”. “When I look back and think about myself as a young person, to get where I am today and receiving this award is all the more remarkable. It is fair to say I was a bit wayward back then. I left school with a pretty negative attitude towards life, got into trouble and totally lacked a sense of purpose and direction. It took me until I was 23 to seriously ask myself “where is my life going?” – I was in a job I didn’t really enjoy (actually I was working 3 jobs to make ends meet), had no qualifications and had the dawning realisation that I was going nowhere fast. That awakening eventually resulted in me gaining a BA Honours Degree in Social & Community Studies and the start of my life working in Charity. I have never looked back. I hope that young people who are feeling now as I did then, will hear my story and recognise there is always a way to turn things round”.