Michelle Stewart, operations manager of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s consular contact centre, has been awarded an MBE for services to British nationals overseas in the New Year Honours List.
Michelle joined the FCDO in Malaga as a team leader in the consular contact centre, following a career in the tourism sector. This service answers calls from British nationals around the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and allows consular teams to focus on those that need the most help. Michelle manages a team of over 100 remote workers, with over 16 foreign languages to support, and helps them to offer vital assistance to British nationals overseas, who are often in very challenging situations. Crucially, the changes Michelle has made to the management of the consular contact centre have allowed more people to be helped, more quickly and to a higher standard of service. This was particularly evident during the first wave of the Covid pandemic, where from the first calls from Wuhan up until the repatriation of British nationals, call volumes increased from 2,000 per day to 10,000 per day.
HMA Hugh Elliott said: “Michelle’s calm and focused leadership and resilience has allowed her to manage a global team successfully during this unprecedented and protracted global emergency this year. She has led her team to provide excellent and constant assistance to British nationals in all corners of the globe during the most challenging time in the history of the consular contact centre, ensuring that British nationals received the support they needed. Her dedication to customer service and her striving constantly to improve that service, are exemplary. British nationals overseas, and the FCDO, are very fortunate to be able to count on Michelle.”
Michelle Stewart said: “I am very humbled and very honoured to be awarded the MBE from her Majesty. I am thankful for the opportunity to do a job I love, that is equally as challenging as it is rewarding. This achievement is not mine alone, and would not be possible without the help of my colleagues and a team who work tirelessly to help British Nationals overseas, I am grateful to you all.”
The four UK nationals named in the New Year Honours List are:
An MBE to Mr William GRAVES, Trustee of the Fundación Robert Graves ‘For services to British culture and literature in Spain’
An MBE to Ms Michelle Marie STEWART, Operations Manager, Consular Contact Centre, Malaga, Spain. ‘For services to British nationals overseas’ A British Empire Medal (BEM) to Mrs Sheila Anne BOWER, Volunteer for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. ‘For services to British nationals in Spain’
A British Empire Medal (BEM) to Mr Barry HAMILTON, President and Director of Training, FAST (Medical Emergency Responders), Camposol, Mazarrón, Spain. ‘For services to British nationals in Spain’