Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director of the Cohesion Plus and CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council received his MBE for services to the arts and the communities of Kent from Anne, Princess Royal at Windsor Castle on February 28th. He had been awarded the prestigious award by Her Majesty the Queen in her last birthday honours list in June 2022.

Gurvinder started work at the North West Kent Racial Equality Council in 1999 before it became the Kent Equality Cohesion Council in 2010 where he became its first CEO. KECC works across the county serving under represented communities, working to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination and to promote positive community relations between diverse communities.

During his tenure Gurvinder has fostered important networks and partnerships including long standing relations across public, charity, voluntary and statutory sector partners from local district councils, to parish councils to county councils, Kent Police, schools, universities and health service providers around diversity and community engagement.

After the ceremony Gurvinder commented “This is a truly proud moment for me, my family and also all the community groups and partners I have had the privilege of working with over the past 24 years. It was great to meet with Anne, Princess Royal and talk about our work in Kent, bringing communities together and celebrating what binds us rather than divides us. As a son of immigrants from North India who arrived here without anything in the early 1960’s, to receive this recognition just shows what can be achieved with hard work, determination and a little bit of luck.”