A woman from Battersea has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Syeda Islam, from Falcon Road, was recognised for her part in feeding vulnerable people in South West London last year.

The New Year Honours List 2021, published on December 31, demonstrates the incredible efforts of hundreds of public sector and community workers.

Syeda, the former president of goodwill organisation the Rotary, Battersea, has taken part in various charity projects over the last 15 years.

But over lockdown, she took matters into her own hands, preparing meals for residents in sheltered housing schemes who were struggling to access food.

Wandsworth Times: Syeda in her kitchenSyeda in her kitchen

From her kitchen, she cooked and delivered over 200 hot meals a week, including soups, roast dinners and curries to residents over a six month period.

The ingredients and PPE needed were mostly self-funded, until she began receiving donations from the community.

Wandsworth Times: Syeda delivering food to a sheltered housing schemeSyeda delivering food to a sheltered housing scheme

“I was shocked when I got the email from the cabinet office, nobody told me they had nominated me. I thought maybe they had made a mistake, I keep pinching myself,” said Syeda.

“People were so grateful, I had lovely notes, letters and phone calls - including one with Battersea MP Marsha de Cova. I hope this opens a door for further projects in the community.

“Now, I’m the chair of a fund for SW11 for similar schemes – we take applications for cooking, counselling and gardening projects so that other people can help out too.”