One in five New Year Honours will go to Britain's coronavirus heroes

A FIFTH of the gongs — 231 in all — went to medics, care workers and public sector stalwarts leading the fight against coronavirus.

Nurse Lynne Grieves, who moved into her care home to help residents, gets a British Empire Medal (BEM).

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The 57-year-old couldn’t risk taking the virus back to mum Ann, 82.

So she stayed 12 weeks at Northlea Court, Cramlington, Northumberland — even celebrating her birthday there.

She said: “It means a lot and shows I’ve been appreciated. Everybody has sacrificed so much.”

A BEM goes to palliative care nurse Cath Fitzsimmons who came out of retirement to lend her 40 years’ experience to the fight in Salford, Gtr Manchester.

Head of nursing Carol Doggett, 51, accepted an MBE on behalf of staff and intensive care patients at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, which came under significant pressure from rising cases.

Everybody has sacrificed so much.

Two medical experts who highlighted the health and wellbeing toll on staff get CBEs.

Prof Greta Westwood set up leadership support service Nightingale Frontline for nurses to discuss fears. Over 1,500 have used the service.

Prof Wendy Burn, ex-president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, recognised staff were in need of personal protective equipment and warned that the virus wave ravaging care homes could be replicated in residential mental health facilities without action.

Deputy director of nursing Jacky Copping, 55 from Beccles, Suffolk, received an MBE for initiating “Face Fit Testing” PPE at her trust.

Retired cop Mark Owen, 57, of Llanynys, Denbighshire, gets an MBE.

He led the volunteer response in North Wales, delivering prescriptions and food parcels to the vulnerable.

The Sun says

FOR too long the honours system has been used to butter up celebs and massage the egos of time-serving nobodies.

So it’s brilliant to see that one in five on this New Year’s honours list are everyday heroes who went above and beyond during the Covid pandemic.

Those like Lynne Grieves, who works at Northlea Court care home in Cramlington, Northumberland.

She moved in there during early April and stayed for 12 weeks to look after her charges. She even celebrated her birthday there.

Or former palliative care nurse Cath Fitzsimmons, from Greater Manchester, who came out of retirement in response to the pandemic.

If there is one ray of light we can take from this crisis, it is the selflessness of hundreds and thousands like them.

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