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News > Giving Back > Former pupil Kate Phillips awarded British Empire Medal

Former pupil Kate Phillips awarded British Empire Medal

18 Dec 2023
Written by Kate Phillips
Giving Back
Kate Phillips BEM
Kate Phillips BEM

Kate was one of the first few girls to be admitted to 6th form in 1986 and has very fond memories of her time at the school. She was listed on Her Majesty the Queen's final Birthday Honours List in June 2022 and was presented with her medal by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire at a local Investiture ceremony. She was also honoured to attend His Majesty the King's first Royal Garden Party in May this year with her daughter Grace. In previous years her charity work has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Point of Light Award in 2016 and with a Community Pride award in 2019.

Kate is the founder of Christmas Smile, a Shropshire charity now in its 11th year that provides a Santa bag of gifts to local children and families encountering financial or emotional difficulties, and to elderly residents who find themselves alone and who would benefit from a Smile at Christmas time.

“In 2013 I volunteered at a local food bank and it was eye-opening to see first-hand how many families were struggling to feed their children. I started to think, if they can't afford necessities, how can they afford to buy Christmas presents? So, that year I asked work colleagues for gift donations and that's how Christmas Smile was born. I initially thought the project would fill a temporary gap, but sadly the need for food banks has substantially increased over the years and Christmas Smile has grown alongside that need. I expect to see peak numbers in our referrals this year due to the ongoing impact of the cost of living increase. Christmas Smile will continue to make sure that no child in our community goes without a visit from Santa.”

The charity employs hundreds of volunteers each year and for Christmas 2022 gave out over 10500 gifts to 2100 local families and elderly residents. Kate works as an IT Project Manager by day and on the charity in her own time. If you'd like more information please do contact Kate via her King's Connect profile or visit:


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