Crawley man describes what it’s like to receive an MBE from Prince William

Long-standing Crawley resident Derek Pratt of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch received an Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his work in crime prevention and public safety.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:41 am
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 9:10 am

The delayed ceremony at Windsor Castle saw Mr Pratt receive his MBE from Prince William. It was even rumored that the Queen was flying in by helicopter from Sandringham Estate, but unfortunately Mr Pratt didn’t get to meet her on the day.

Mr Pratt works in property investment and is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

He said he can now choose how he spends his work day, which allows him to devote his time to his roles as Deputy Chair and Secretary of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation.

Mr Pratt was awarded the MBE from Prince William

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Alongside this, Mr Pratt is also the chair of Sussex Community Search Team (Team leader), Police service volunteer with Sussex Police and administrator of the Neighbourhood Alert System.

Sussex Community Search Team is run by around 400 volunteers and was set up to help local police services to find missing people. Because of the pandemic, the organisation redirected its efforts to helping run Covid vaccination centres around the Sussex area.

Mr Pratt enjoyed the grand affair at Windsor Castle. He said: “May last year I was awarded the MBE and you have to accept it straight away. I’ve never had an award like this and I never really had an award for my work before.

Mr Pratt and his wife at the ceremony in Windsor Castle

“I hadn’t expected it to happen. If it ever happened, I thought it would be a letter..

“I know from friends that you would usually receive a letter, but instead I got an email from the cabinet office. It did go into my junk mail but luckily I didn’t delete it.

“Windsor Castle is a lovely, beautiful place. I was extremely looked after from the time we went in to the time we went out.

“My wife is a wheelchair user and we were thoroughly looked after.

“Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, we weren’t allowed to speak to other guests even though I was standing in front of Marcus Rashford MBE- I was only 2 metres away from him.

“Prince William took 2 to 3 minutes speaking to everybody. We had a nice natter about Neighbourhood Watch and Search Team.

“Overall, it was a very good day.”

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