Shushma Patel, a longstanding volunteer at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (popularly known as ‘Neasden Temple), has been selected as a ‘Coronation Champion’ for her outstanding commitment to volunteering.
The Coronation Champions Award for volunteers was launched by the Royal Voluntary Service in honour of Their Majesties’ service to the country. The Award celebrates extraordinary volunteers across the country who have been contributing to their communities. Only 500 have been selected throughout the UK.
Sushma Patel has served as a National Coordinator for BAPS youth activities in the UK for 25 years. During this voluntary role, she has motivated women across the country to enhance their skills, community involvement, personal development, health and well-being. She has also served the local community through the COVID vaccinations at her pharmacy and championed community work as a local business leader.
Dr Mayank Shah, a trustee at the Mandir, shared, “Shushma is a role model to women. Despite being a full-time working mother who runs her own pharmacy business, she has dedicated time to developing young women to progress their volunteering and professional lives and start their own businesses.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, she encouraged her youth teams to raise funds for medical equipment and offered her pharmacy as a community hub for local residents to receive advice, support and vaccinations.
“Shushmaben also leads by personal example. Last year, she volunteered full-time for two weeks at the ‘Festival of Inspiration’ at the Mandir, ensuring the site, which was visited by thousands daily, was kept free of litter. We are grateful to the Royal Voluntary Service for recognising her dedication and commitment to serving others.”
Shushma Patel said, “It is an honour to be selected as a Coronation Champion. I am immensely grateful to my guru His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj for instilling the ethos of volunteerism and service. He has served others selflessly, and his guiding principles drive us to give back in return.”
All 500 Coronation Champions will receive a specially designed official Coronation Champions pin and a signed certificate from His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort, and are invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations in May.