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Penny Phillips Ap Head Shoulders

A&P Falmouth’s Executive Assistant Penny Phillips has been awarded the prestigious British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. 

Penny has worked at A&P Falmouth for 42 years and has received the award in recognition of her meritorious work with The Mission to Seafarers, a charity for which she has been the chairman and centre manager since 2004. 

Four thousand seafarers passed through the door of The Mission to Seafarers in Falmouth during 2018, which offers practical, emotional and spiritual support to seafarers and includes facilities such as a garden, chapel and games room.  The centre also supported many seafarers during illness and injury until they could be repatriated or returned to their vessels. 

Penny Phillips BEM, Executive Assistant said: “To be recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours is very special indeed and it shines a light on the important work of The Mission to Seafarers, which I’ve been supporting for the last 15 years.

“As with all of the BEM awards, recipients are nominated by others, so I didn’t have any idea that I had even been nominated.  The official letter, On Her Majesty’s Service from the Cabinet Office, arrived at the end of October and it was a huge shock.  It’s a real honour to have my work recognised but none of this would have been possible without the support of Falmouth Mission’s wonderful volunteers, supporters, the A&P Group and my partner Graham.”

The official Awards Ceremony is expected to take place in Cornwall later this year and Penny and her partner will also be invited to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

Gerald Pitts, Managing Director of A&P Defence, which is based at A&P Falmouth, said: “We are tremendously proud of Penny’s achievement and thrilled that her dedication to seafarers and the charity has received such high-profile recognition. It is incredibly well deserved.”

A&P helped to set up The Mission to Seafarers in Falmouth by providing a portable building to use as a drop-in centre for seafarers.  Since then the Mission has grown to include a multi award-winning wraparound garden, a chapel, a games room, a new bespoke Flying Angel Centre – designed and built in Cornwall, and a summerhouse.    

The Falmouth Mission to Seafarers in Falmouth is part of a global network which works in more than 200 ports and in 50 countries and provides help and support to 1.5million men and women in seafaring industries.