British Empire Medal for Stokes Own Ian Mountford

Stoke’s very own Ian Mountford, has been listed in the New Year Honours list and is to receive a British Empire Medal at a ceremony later this year. The Unitas Stoke-on-Trent employee has worked for the Council and Unitas for 42 years and is responsible for undertaking painting and decorating work in a variety of contracts.

The Medal has been awarded to Ian for services to the community in Stoke-on-Trent, particularly during Covid-19.

Ian Mountford was completely shocked to hear he had been included on the New Year Honours list adding “I’m really proud, it’s such a nice achievement although it wasn’t the aim to be recognised, it was about supporting the local community and making sure people had what they needed”

When the Covid pandemic hit, Ian was seconded as a driver to deliver emergency food parcels to vulnerable people in the community. Ian worked tirelessly and willingly, with a smile on his face and on call seven days a week. He volunteered his time to help deliver food parcels to vulnerable residents across the city for over five months and delivered thousands of emergency food parcels to residents’ homes within eight hours of the initial request being received; in fact, he delivered almost half of the food parcel requests received.

Martin Heath, Head of Responsive Repairs and Maintenance at Unitas, commended Ian’s outstanding work by saying, “On many occasions Ian was contacted late in the working day to deliver food parcels as a matter of urgency and Ian always willingly helped out – and within the hour too! Ian always goes the extra mile. He worked seven days a week providing this service and at times went above and beyond by going to the local supermarket to collect items not included in the parcels including pet food, baby milk and nappies and sometimes even paying out of his own pocket. When asked, Ian would even put the shopping away for the residents too”.

Ian shares the honours list with other Staffordshire recipients, Olympian Adam Peaty and Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard.

Martin continues “Ian is a credit to Unitas and the city of Stoke on Trent. He is a dedicated professional who puts the needs of others before himself. Indeed, in March 2021 he received a letter from Her Majesty’s Office in recognition of his service to residents across the city and now listed on the New Year Honours for an BEM”.

“Ian’s enthusiasm and willingness to provide an exemplar service is second to none. We believe that Ian is a first class example of an employee who goes the extra mile and genuinely cares about his colleagues and the city’s residents. A massive well done and congratulations to Ian from us all here at Unitas”.

During the pandemic, Ian experienced a lot that will stick with him. Firstly, driving around the city during the lockdown was very strange with the roads being empty, Ian recalls “It was very weird to start with, I’d drive miles and only see police cars. It was quite eerie seeing roads that are usually really busy now being so sparce”

Ian goes on to say “Some deliveries were made to elderly and disabled members of the community, who were unable to carry the deliveries into their homes so I’d ask them to go into another room so I could carry the deliveries into the kitchen for the resident to be able to sort with ease”

Not only did Ian work 12-13 hour days, he would also do some deliveries on his way to and from work making sure everyone that needed access to a delivery, had one.  Ian also dressed up his van for key events such as VE day to lift peoples spirits. His union jack draped van caught a lot of attention with other motorists peeping and passers-by clapping.

Ian will be invited to a presentation ceremony later on this year and will also be attending the Queens garden party – Congratulations Ian, the whole of Stoke-on-Trent is cheering for you!

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