Saturday, September 30, 2023

Thurrock woman who helped organise the Queen’s funeral awarded MBE

SOPHIE Scowen, 35, from Chafford Hundred, will be awarded an MBE for services to the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Since 2018 Sophie has been responsible for the day-to-day development of the Greater London Authority (GLA)’s plans to support the delivery of Operation London Bridge.

From 2020 she managed the development and delivery of the event and crowd management plans. During delivery of Operation London Bridge she managed the multi-agency event liaison facility. The event liaison facility was based in Transport for London’s headquarters at Palestra House and had over 20 key agencies co-located.

Sophie managed the inter-agency operational delivery throughout the twelve-day period as well as managing the delivery of the GLA’s event and crowd management plans. Her work to develop the London Governance Structure transformed the inter-agency working and accountability within the capital.

She led the detailed planning of inter-agency operational plans to support the delivery of Operation London Bridge. This involved the development of over 200 individual plans across 20 agencies and included everything from barrier plans, transport plans, walking routes to first aid provision and detailed stewarding plans.

She is a mid-level manager at the GLA – but stepped well outside of the usual expectations at that level, showing “extraordinary leadership” in both the planning and delivery phase. Sophie joined the GLA in 2016 and managed the volunteer programme, Team London, leading the volunteer programme for the 2017 World Athletics Championships which included some 5000 volunteers.

Prior to the GLA, she worked on the volunteer programmes for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. She has made an extraordinary contribution alongside caring responsibilities for her mother and grandparents.

She played a vital role in the planning phase of Operation London Bridge in overseeing the production of the Event Management Plan for the extensive activity in London. She led this work through several Covid scenarios and continually adapted the plans as the health situation changed.

She brought together GLA, DCMS and London partners to develop robust and safe plans, drawing on lessons learned from other events, that delivered a safe and enjoyable event for thousands.

Sophie said: “I am shocked and proud to be recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours. It was a privilege to play a role in the planning and delivery of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, which was such a momentous occasion for London and the country. I feel incredibly honoured to be awarded an MBE.”


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