A LEADING figure in the British Heart Foundation, a former foster carer of the year and a Cricket World Cup volunteer, all from Ealing borough, are named in the New Year Honours, announced this evening.

Jeremy Pearson, 72, Associate Medical Director of the BHF and Chair of Sclerodema and Reynaud's UK, is made an MBE  for services to medical research

His passion for research and collaboration has helped earn substantial investment in scleroderma and raynaud’s disease, to improve the chance of survival beyond five years for 60-85% of people with these conditions.

Prof Pearson, from Ealing, is Emeritus Chair at King’s College, London and Chair of Understanding Animal Research (since 2017) among numerous other roles.

Shakuntla Gittins, 67, from Northolt, a single foster carer with Ealing Council, receives her MBE for services to children.

Her motivation to comes from her mother, who was also a foster carer for many years.

Shakuntla ensures that young people in her care are involved in all aspects of family life, attending gatherings and joining family holidays.

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She works hard to ensure the children maintain relationships with their birth families and is a positive role model to birth mothers, who often seek her advice.

She advises Ealing Council’s fostering recruitment team about meeting the cultural needs of looked-after children.

In 2017, Shakuntla received the Thornborough Award as Ealing foster carer of the year. The annual award ceremony is held by Ealing Council to recognise the exceptional care and service they provide.

Afzal Pradhan, 52, from Greenford, a volunteer at this year’s ICC World Cup, receives a British Empire Medal for services to cricket

He is also a committed volunteer in his home community, involving himself in multiple projects including a homeless initiative, raising money for winter warmer packs.

Afzal also organises family fun days where children are encouraged to become involved in sport.

For CWC19, he volunteered as an interviewer and team leader and is currently supporting Euro 2020 as a volunteer interviewer.