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Polish care hero Bogumil awarded honorary British Empire Medal for services to social care

“To receive this recognition in Britain, as someone who moved from another country, for helping our society is really fantastic.”


Bogumil Cwiklak, who joined The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) when he was recruited from Poland through an overseas recruitment drive in 2007, has been awarded an honorary British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to adult social care during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Bogumil joined OSJCT as a Carer at Grevill House in Charlton Kings, near Cheltenham, and is now Assistant Regional Director – Special Projects. During his long-standing career with OSJCT, he has gained extensive experience in delivering and managing positive change in adult social care and is currently supporting operations at The Fremantle Trust, which recently merged with OSJCT.


Bogumil said: “When I first thought about moving to the UK, I thought it would be for a couple of years. However, I soon found that working at OSJCT offered me the opportunity to follow my ambitions. The Trust has strong values and Ewa (my wife) and I have always felt supported. We’ve stayed at OSJCT, and in the UK, thanks to the strong community feel, very friendly teams and working in roles where we can improve people’s lives.”


On receiving news of his BEM, Bogumil said: “I was very surprised to be nominated for this unexpected honour. To receive this recognition in Britain, as someone who moved from another country, for helping our society, is really fantastic. I arrived in the UK 17 years ago with just one small suitcase, but with passion and energy to make a contribution and share my skills. This honour is very special to me. The UK is a place where your dreams can come true.”


Dan Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are thrilled that Bogumil has been awarded the honorary British Empire Medal. His passion and dedication to adult social care are clear to all who work with him. From the pandemic to ongoing organisational change, Bogumil brings compassion, expertise, and total commitment.

“Throughout the pandemic Bogumil put his job, and the wellbeing of our residents and employees across Gloucestershire first. His tenacity and drive were immense and with strong resilience he skilfully led his colleagues through a constantly changing and difficult period. Bogumil has been a force for good since he joined the Trust, and I am proud to call him my colleague.”

Inspired by personal experience in hospital 

Bogumil’s drive to promote compassionate, high-quality healthcare, and desire to effect positive change has been inspired by his own experience of care as a child, when he spent time in hospital after operations due to scoliosis – a genetic spinal condition. 


He said: “I remember two male nurses on the paediatric wards, they were very caring and engaged. They made the experience I had better. From that early age I learned that nursing is holistic, as well as clinical. Care is about being with people, and bringing ease and humour to what can be a difficult time.”


Moving to the UK

Bogumil moved to the UK in January 2007, following his wedding to Ewa, who also joined OSJCT in May 2007 to work at Grevill House. Bogumil, Ewa and their three children are now happily settled in Gloucestershire.


Last year Bogumil played a pivotal role in the overseas recruitment project which the Trust runs to offer opportunities for skilled nurses and carers to join OSJCT. With his knowledge of the challenges of moving to a new country, coping with a secondary language, and not knowing the local geography, Bogumil has helped to ensure that new recruits are supported from the moment they arrive. Overseas carers are met at the airport, given sim cards, welcome packs and supported with finding accommodation and learning about local transportation. 

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