Accountant who lost her sight as a child awarded MBE

Senior finance auditor at Merseyside Police, Saima Ashraf, has been awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) and retired Detective Superintendent Dave McCaughrean has been awarded the KPM (King’s Police Medal).

Saima, joined Merseyside Police 12 years ago, and has been a huge inspiration and role model, as a result of the work she has done for people who are visually impaired.

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, said, “Saima is an amazing woman and is a real role model not just for people, who are visually impaired, but for anyone who faces up to adversity in their lives. 

“Saima lost her sight as a child, but she has never let that stand in her way. In March 2013, she became the first registered blind Chartered Public Accountant, which was testimony to the hard work and graft she put in to make it happen.

“Saima is an exceptional person who looks to find solutions when faced with challenges, helping and inspiring others through sharing and learning from her own personal challenges and experiences.

“In 2021 she was awarded Employee of the Year following feedback from across the organisation about her high levels of professionalism and can do attitude.

“She also is instrument in the work she does with local communities, providing reassurance and aspiration to those who are less confident. She joined a local radio station to build her own confidence and in 2020 started a solo weekly current affairs programme interviewing inspirational people such as Fayyaz Afzal, the first blind Asian Judge, and championing local organisations in the community, including asylum seeker and refugee communities.

“These are just a snapshot of the plethora of work that Saima undertakes and she is so deserving of this amazing award.”

On receiving news the honour Saima, said, “I am extremely honoured and humbled to receive an MBE for my services to policing; when I heard I was extremely overwhelmed to find out how well regarded I was at Merseyside and how my contribution as a Senior Auditor and the Chair of the Disability Support Network had been appreciated.

“I would like to dedicate this award and recognition to my late sister Misbah Ashraf as she is the one who found this position for me and worked with me as my PA before passing in 2022 having battled pancreatic cancer.”

Also nominated in the King’s Birthday Honours is retired Detective Superintendent Dave McCaughrean. Dave retired last year after 34 years in policing.

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said, “Dave dedicated his working life to policing having initially joined the Metropolitan Police and then he transferred to Merseyside Police. 

“He has received his award for the work he did as a member and Chair of the Superintendents’ Association. He was an integral part of the Superintendents’ Association committee in Merseyside Police and in his role worked closely with myself and the Deputy Chief Constable.

“He always represented the Superintendents’ Association in an excellent way providing professional challenge when it was required, balancing the needs of the members and the needs of the police service.

“He was a critical friend to the organisation and was always available, whether on or off duty, to provide strong counsel in connection with matters linked to his role on the Superintendents Association and he would often go above and beyond his role, supporting the wellbeing of colleagues when they were in need.

“Dave was always proud of his role as a police officer and I know he was particularly proud to work for Merseyside Police. He was a fantastic ambassador for the force and was always eager to highlight the work for force was delivering regionally, nationally and internationally.

“It is fantastic to see that he has been awarded the KPM and I know that this will be a reminder to him in retirement of the crucial work he carried out representing members of the Superintendent’s Association.”

Image: Saima Ashraf

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