A Swansea Council worker who has helped coordinate the city’s response to the coronavirus has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Nigel Williams, Head of Building Services in the council, has helped lead the council through a challenging seven months since the lockdown in March and was the project manager in the creation of a new 1100-bed field hospital in the former Swansea Bay Studios building.

Mr Williams was also behind the distribution of more than 12 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, aprons and gloves to all care settings in the city. The distribution of the vital safety equipment has been praised by the Army who described its provision as one of the best it has seen, delivered with military precision.

In June this year, the Queen agreed to defer the publication of the Birthday Honours 2020 list in order to recognise the efforts of the country in its response to coronavirus.

Nigel will now attend a formal ceremony later in the year to collect his medal from the Queen.

Mr Williams, said: “I’m shocked and very honoured to receive this award. It’s a bit of a cliché but I am the first to state that, while my name is on the letter informing me of the award, this is more recognition for Swansea Council’s overall effort rather than just mine.

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“The pandemic has thrown up a lot of challenges this year, all of which have been met by a highly motivated team of officers and councillors, as well as hundreds of volunteers, who have all contributed towards keeping Swansea together as a city and enabling vital services to continue.

“I’m in a privileged position to be part of a great team who are all working towards the same goal – which is to get the residents of Swansea through this pandemic and keep everyone safe.”

Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “Huge congratulation are due to Nigel for this well-deserved honour.

“Nigel played pivotal roles in helping secure sufficient supplies of PPE, and delivery of the Bay Field Hospital, built by the council and its partners for the NHS, during the early part of the pandemic.”

Swansea Council’s Chief Executive, Phil Roberts, praised the efforts of Mr Williams. He said: “Nigel deserves this recognition for the work that he and his team have done in going above and beyond what he normally does to support the city and its residents.

“There are a lot of staff who deserve our thanks for how they have reacted to the pandemic, but it is wonderful to see this personal accolade for Nigel.”

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