A civil servant from Sutton has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Caroline Collender, Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP) employee, has been recognised for her hard work helping homeless people in London.

The civil servant has worked across different roles at the DWP since leaving school 38 years ago, supporting some of the most vulnerable in society. She is currently a Homeless Outreach Worker focussing on the South London District.

“I was totally in shock to receive such a great honour and recognition for doing a job I absolutely love doing," said Caroline.

Your Local Guardian: A homeless person sleeping in a doorway A homeless person sleeping in a doorway

“Not only does it highlight the work we do in DWP – it’s recognition for all the amazing volunteers who are the lifeblood of support for vulnerable and homeless people in London.

“I have been a homelessness support worker for over 6 years now working in the community to upskill colleagues and other professionals on issues surrounding homelessness.

“Homeless and other vulnerable people often need a voice and extra support, especially in these exceptional times and I’ve done a lot of work as part of my job at the DWP working with other charities and stakeholders for better understanding and collaboration.”