Praise for local contributions made by two New Years Honours recipients

Foodbank volunteer Goodeson Williams has been awarded a British Empire Medal while Enfield Council’s principal educational psychologist Suzy Francis has been made an MBE

Goodeson Williams BEM (left) and Suzy Francis MBE (right)
Goodeson Williams BEM (left) and Suzy Francis MBE (right)

Two local people included in the New Years Honours have been praised for their contribution to the Enfield community.

Susan Francis, who works for Enfield Council as a principal educational psychologist and strategic lead for children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) “for services to children with special educational needs and disabilities”, while Goodeson Williams, a volunteer, was awarded the British Empire Medal for “services to the community in Enfield during Covid-19”.

Abdul Abdullahi, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, has paid tribute to Susan – better known to her colleagues as Suzy. He said: “We would like to congratulate Suzy for her many years of service to the people of Enfield.

“Suzy has worked with the Enfield educational psychology service for 23 years and has been in contact with hundreds of children and young people and their families in the borough and beyond, making a real difference to their development and emotional wellbeing.

“We thank Suzy for her contribution to public service, her professionalism and her passion for working with children and young people in our borough.”

Goodeson became a volunteer at The Felix Project in Enfield when he was unemployed, which later helped him secure a full-time job. But when Covid-19 hit, Goodeson was able to deliver food parcels directly to vulnerable people’s homes. Goodeson is also a long-time member of Gospel Temple Apostolic Church in Ponders End, which does a lot of work in the community, and it was Pastor Jason Young put him forward for the British Empire Medal.

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“It was unexpected but wonderful,” Goodeson told the Dispatch on finding out about the honour. “Jason put my name forward and I am very grateful, it is nice to be recognised.”

With Gospel Temple, Goodeson organised a youth retreat in Suffolk for deprived local children, made possible thanks to his own fundraising efforts. Jason said: “With the help of volunteers from within the community he delivered a fundraising dinner that successfully raised all the finances that he needed to send local children to the youth congress in Ipswich.

“When the children returned, they said that the retreat gave them confidence in themselves and the desire to want to take up drama classes to improve their self-esteem.”

Through his work with The Felix Project, between 2017 and 2018 Goodeson collected over a tonne of surplus food from supermarkets that would otherwise have been thrown away, to redistribute to those in need. He also led fundraising campaigns at Asda Edmonton Green, and participated in Christmas carol singing events at Sainsbury’s Enfield, Morrisons Enfield and Tesco Ponders End.

Using his own experience of being unemployed, between 2016 and 2019 Goodeson reached out to other unemployed people to help shape their future and get back into work. He now leads a ministry providing support to men in the community. Jason added: “To think that an ordinary person who lives in relative obscurity could be chosen for a British Empire Medal has left us all gobsmacked.”

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