A Chesham charity co-founder was awarded a BEM after Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022 list was revealed today.

Mark Rosales received the recognition for services to the community in Chesham during Covid-19.

In March 2020, he and other volunteers started a food distribution service The Big Community Takeaway, serving one hot meal each week to help struggling families, the elderly and NHS frontline workers.

The 46-year-old said: “For me personally, it’s an honour and privilege to get the British Empire Medal, but most the medal represents all the hard work of our volunteers.

"Because, for me, without the volunteers none of the achievements over the past few years would have been done without their effort and their continual commitment, heart and giving to the community.

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"Without them, so many families would have suffered.

“The honour really is for them, and I’m humbled to have been nominated. It’s really their honours, not mine.

“This is a team effort, and overall it’s about supporting the community, building the community up, and its engagement with each other to support each other through times of trouble."

Since its launch, The Big Community Takeaway has expanded from Chesham to Amersham, Little Chalfont, and will soon deliver in High Wycombe too.

Mark, who has worked overseas alongside international Red Cross and other NGO’s, said the next challenge is to scale up the operation and funding because “we know the community will be facing major crisis in relation to living costs and increased fuel prices, with the undertone of the pandemic still lingering on the background.

“This a time the community needs to pull together.”

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