'It's a huge honour': Peterborough charity CEO awarded MBE for services to people with disabilities

Sandie Burns, of Market Deeping, will receive her MBE at Buckingham Palace after being named in Her Majesty The Queen's Birthday Honours list.

By Adam Barker
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 11:00 pm
Sandie Burns has been awarded an MBE for services to people with disabilities in Peterborough (image: David Lowndes)
Sandie Burns has been awarded an MBE for services to people with disabilities in Peterborough (image: David Lowndes)

The CEO of a Peterborough charity has been awarded an MBE for her services to people with disabilities, as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s 2022 Birthday Honours list.

Sandie Burns, 62, of Market Deeping, is the chief executive of Disability Peterborough – a charity that offers a range of services, including free confidential and impartial information and advice, to support physically disabled people in Peterborough.

Sandie has worked for the charity for over 30 years. She said that being awarded an MBE was “totally unexpected.”

“I was shocked when I received the letter in the post,” she said. “It’s a huge honour – especially this year as it’s the year of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee."

Sandie has been invited to receive her MBE at Buckingham Palace. She has also been invited to attend a garden party with the lord lieutenant of Cambridgeshire later this month.

"I’ve been to the House of Commons, House of Lords and 10 Downing Street – so Buckingham Palace is the only place I haven’t been,” she said.

Disability Peterborough is a Disabled Peoples Organisation (DPO), which is a charity led by people with disabilities.

The charity supports over 30,000 disabled people, their families and carers in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire each year.

"Most of our staff have experience of living with a disability, which is is really important to us,” Sandie said. "It’s important to have the right team around you because you can’t do it alone.”

"We offer an important service because many disabled people are unaware of what support is available to them until they’re in a situation where they need help.”

One of the reasons Sandie has been awarded an MBE is for the charity’s commitment to disabled people throughout the pandemic.

She said her staff at Disability Peterborough sometimes worked “16 and 17-hour days” to help others.

"There is an ongoing public inquiry about why disabled people were failed so badly during the pandemic,” she said.

"120 voluntary groups in Peterborough, including Disability Peterborough, came together to support people with disabilities throughout the pandemic.”