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OBE for retired Surrey County Council officer who cared for the carers

A recently retired Surrey County Council officer who worked for 26 years to improve the lives of unpaid carers has been made an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours. 

John Bangs (pictured right), who left the council in September, was honoured for services to carers.

John was senior commissioning manager for carers who worked to improve the support available to Surrey residents with caring responsibilities through listening to their views and putting their voices at the heart of services. One key element of his work, which achieved national recognition, was developing support for young carers who look after loved ones. 

He said: “I’m very pleased and flattered but I see this as recognition for the work that’s been done in Surrey over many years by many people.

“I have worked with a lot of great people without whom I couldn’t have achieved any of it. I’m confident they will take forward our work with carers in Surrey who deserve our support, respect and admiration for the huge contribution they make to society.”

John began his career with the county council in 1972 as an administrator before taking an interest in supporting carers in 1994. He held several roles within adult social care before retiring and is now an independent carers policy advisor working on a pro bono basis. 

Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “John went above and beyond in caring for the carers – making Surrey a better place for people who look after loved ones and help them get the most out of life despite illness, frailty or disability.

“John played a key role for many years in developing vital services providing practical and emotional support for carers and I’m pleased for him that his work has been nationally recognised.”

Alison Griffiths, the carers’ champion for the county council’s Cabinet, said: “John has been central to much of the work we’ve done to improve the support available to Surrey carers, all contributing to our goal of supporting residents to lead independent and healthy lives, with no one left behind. I’d like to congratulate John who has been such a dedicated public servant during his long time at Surrey.”

Simon White, the county council’s Executive Director for Adult Social Care, said: “Many of John’s 48 years working for Surrey were dedicated to supporting carers and many people will have benefited from his work. John has given incredible public service and, on behalf of all his former colleagues, I’d like to congratulate him on this award.”

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