Sushma Bhanot has spent over 15 years supporting thousands of women in Essex, London and across the UK to enhance their mental, physical, and financial health with immediate action. The British Indian mum is credited with singlehandedly and proactively organising hundreds of online workshops, one to one free wellbeing advice and pastoral care for women, particularly from ethnic minority backgrounds who were left powerless following physical, financial and emotional abuse.
All of her relentless work was recognised when she was awarded an MBE for services to wellbeing and the community in Chigwell, Essex, particularly during Covid-19 in the .
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Sushma Bhanot MBE said: "It's a privilege to receive this honour. However, as the pandemic continues, there is plenty more work to be done and this recognition only further motivates me to work hard and empower the thousands more women across our country who are suppressed mentally, physically and financially.
“This is just the beginning and there is plenty more work to be done. I would also pay tribute to all the NHS staff and key workers who have been instrumental in helping the country through the pandemic.”
On one occasion during the , she worked discretely and quickly to assist a woman who was thinking of ending it all. Sushma provided counselling guidance and helped the woman obtain professional support. Another example saw Sushma working for many hours providing mock interviews for women who were up for job interviews for the first time in a bid to get them into work and financially independent.
Saroj Ahluwalia, from Ilford, said: "Without the workshops, guidance and support Sushma has given me, I doubt I would have ever had the confidence to go back to work. I would have simply been stuck relying on my partner.
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“This has significantly improved my and wellbeing. Since Sushma has assisted me I have felt a sense of freedom. This honour is very well deserved and I am very proud of Sushma.”
Sushma is the Founder of and Co-Founder of cardiac charity . Her free booklet on ‘Women’s Health during Covid and Beyond – A Self Help Guide’ has been distributed to thousands of women across the country.