THREE Rivers District Councillor Reena Ranger has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, adding to the joy of her re-election in May.

Ranger, who is the co-founder and chair of Women Empowered, a forum that inspires and supports women to make the best of their talents and skills, has won the recognition for services to black and minority ethnic women.

“I cannot express the surprise, honour and privilege I feel to be a recipient of this prestigious honour. It is something my younger self could never have dreamed of, my older self will treasure and my present self is humbled and delighted by,” Ranger told Eastern Eye.

Reena Ranger (centre) at a Women Empowered event

Women Empowered organises events where prominent personalities from all walks of life speak on their achievements, creating a place to network and meet like-minded people. What started off as a short-term project is now in its sixth year, with over 20 events for over 2500 people under their belt.

“My aim of trying to connect people and inspire, has been an incredibly inspirational journey for me and brought a new worldly view, untold pride and a sense of accomplishment that I will be eternally grateful for,” Ranger said.

Reena with Theresa May

The volunteer-driven organisation also engages in charitable work and runs an online blog and debate group. Their charitable arm asks mostly for the donation of time, with over 500 people volunteering over three years, helping 6000 people.

“I hope WE has positively touched the lives of many and I am grateful to have been able to contribute in that. I thank all those who have been a part of WE and share this honour with them all,” she added.

Reena joins her father, Dr Rami Ranger, founder of Sun Mark Ltd, in the honours list. Dr Ranger is a recipient of MBE in the 2005 Birthday Honours and CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours.

Reena is a rising star in the Conservative Party

Reena worked at Sun Mark, a leading distributor of FMCG products, for almost 20 years, before turning her focus into community work and political activism.

She first won her seat in the Three Rivers District Council in May 2014, representing Moor Park & Eastbury, and retained it in last month’s elections with a resounding majority. She is the deputy leader of the Conservative Group in the council.

A rising star among the Conservatives, she was the party candidate for Birmingham Hall Green constituency in the 2017 general election.