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Royal engagement for Karen

A member of the Housing Plus Group team has enjoyed royal recognition for her community work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Karen Shepherd travelled to London last week after receiving an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace where she enjoyed afternoon tea with senior royals including Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Anne.

The invitation followed an award from the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire for Karen’s leadership of a campaign to provide vital PPE for NHS staff and other essential healthcare workers.

When the country went into lockdown, the IT Services Delivery Manager, stepped up to mobilise a team of volunteers to sew and distribute thousands of pairs of ‘scrubs’ for local hospitals and other medical facilities.

The ‘Scrubs for Staffordshire’ campaign eventually delivered 12,500 sets of PPE, with Karen herself sewing over 150 pairs.

“The award was really recognition of a true team effort, but due to Covid restrictions we were unable to receive it in person,” explained Karen, who joined Housing Plus Group in November last year.

“Following the lifting of restrictions, we were invited to the Palace to celebrate the achievement and although we didn’t get the opportunity to have a proper chat, Princess Anne did make a passing comment to us about the weather!

“Although it rained for most of the day, being part of a royal event such as this was still a fantastic experience, and one we will never forget.”

Karen was accompanied on the day by her husband Jon who helped with the logistical side of the scrubs campaign.

“Jon is a real fan of the Royal Family and he was even more excited than I was about this once-in-a-lifetime day out!” she added.

Photo caption: By Royal invitation, Karen Shepherd and husband Jon at the Buckingham Palace garden party.