Brent health campaigner collects his OBE from The Queen
Patrick Vernon was a driving force behind Chalkhill Community Centre
A campaigner who was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his work in the health sector collected his OBE last week.
Patrick Vernon, a former Brent senior NHS manager and member of Brent Fair Share Trust (BFST), has worked tirelessly to combat health inequalities for black and minority ethnic communities in the borough.
In the last 20 years, Mr Vernon, who is Labour councillor in Hackney, has held a number of posts in various health organisations including the post of chief executive of the North West London Community Foundation (now merged with the London Community Foundation) between 2007 to 2009.
Between 1999 to 2003, he was the director of the Brent Health Action Zone, which was part of NHS Brent (Primary Care Trust).
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In 2010, a community space in the newly built Chalkhill Community Centre in Wembley, was named ‘Vernon Hall’ in recognition of his commitment to better health outcomes for local people.
His current role in BFST, a Big Lottery Fund programme that redistributes lottery money into areas of high deprivation, has seen him working with the community in the Church End and Roundwood area in Harlesden.
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Last week, the 51-year-old was accompanied by his proud parents to collect his OBE at Buckingham Palace.
Dedicating his award to Avis and Norris Vernon, who are originally from Jamaica, he said: “They were part of the Windrush Generation and made a lot of personal sacrifices in coming to Britain and raising my four sisters and I.
“ It is also great to receive this award which also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica.”
Mr Vernon, who was recently appointed as a committee member of Healthwatch England which will be the new consumer voice for the NHS and social care, added: “I hope that I will be in the position to use my OBE to further advance these issues and promote my experiences as a leader to support others wishing to develop their career in the health and social care sector.”
Paying tribute to Mr Vernon, Gloria Travers, chair of the Chalkhill Community Centre, said: “There is no one more deserving to be awarded an OBE.
“The Chalkhill Community Centre would never have been built without him, which is why we were proud to name our main community hall after him.”