AN EMPLOYEE of food distribution company Brakes has been awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Working with the Government, Brakes, in partnership with Bidfood, conceived and launched a service to deliver food boxes directly to those who most needed them in only nine days.

Richard James Sercombe, known as Ricky, was integral in ensuring the initial data collected by the company was collated into a meaningful and workable plan, overcoming issues with its accuracy, consistency and timeliness, working round the clock to ensure that deliveries could be made to the shielded vulnerable population.

Speaking about receiving his award, he said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the email and four weeks later it hasn’t truly sunk in.

"On reflection I can only say how proud I am.

"Not personally, but of how everyone at Brakes was able to support those needing food in lockdown.

"Colleagues across Brakes worked so hard to make deliveries possible.

"The greatest thing to see was the feedback our drivers received from all over the country, from those they had delivered boxes to.”

His efforts have also been hailed by company managers.

Brakes CEO Hugo Mahoney said: “The MBE given to Ricky reflects the resilience, innovation and resourcefulness of our business in developing and launching a service to support the clinically vulnerable at a time when many of those most in need were unable to access food and essential supplies."

He added: "I’m very proud of how he drew the business together to deliver such a valuable service so quickly, at a time when many supermarkets were displaying empty shelves and were not able to provide delivery slots."