‘True legend” receives British Empire Medal for his work in the local community

Stagecoach Manchester bus driver, Cornel Grant, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for his extensive work within the community.

He is one of 36 people across logistics, roads, rail, bus and maritime have been awarded honours in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Cornel, known to his friends and colleagues as Junior, has been with Stagecoach for almost 40 years and works as a driver at Sharston Depot in Manchester.

After serving in the Royal Fusiliers for six years and completing three tours in Northern Ireland, he began work at Princess Road Depot in Moss Side in 1982 as a bus driver. Junior has played an active role in his local community for over 40 years.

In the 1970s and 1980s he was actively involved in the setting up of the Moss Side Carnival, helping to bring the community together. He went on to be heavily involved in the Anglo/Caribbean Dominoes Championships bringing people from across the country together with communities from his homeland and introducing other members of staff at Princess Road Depot to team building competitions. He also assists the Message Trust, a Christian charity working to improve the lives of young people.  

Over the years, Junior has supported a number of charitable collections from toys for Wood Street Mission, a children’s charity helping children and families living on a low income in Manchester and Salford to various Easter appeals and foodbank collections. In 2013 he was involved in the donation of a decommissioned bus to the Moss Gardens Project, situated in Moss Side, to be used as a meeting space for the local community on the former site of the Stagecoach Princess Road Depot. The bus was used for many years as a space for the local community.

In 2012 he was selected to help support the UK Olympic Torch Relay and torch bearers. This high-profile role involved assisting with planning the routes and settling the torch bearers into their roles on a very tight operational schedule with high security.

In 2017 his work was recognised nationally by Stagecoach when he received the Silver Community Champion award at the annual Stagecoach Champions Awards.

Junior is always willing to help out with activities and fundraising on behalf of Stagecoach Manchester’s charity partners, from driving buses to dressing up. He has been instrumental in fundraising for charities including in recent years, Prevent Breast Cancer, The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity and Together Manchester.  Junior’s warm and caring personality comes through in every interaction with both his colleagues, customers and members of the community to make them feel welcome, involved and helps to put a smile on their faces and as a result has helped to raise over £53,000 for Stagecoach Manchester’s charity partners.

Junior assists with Remembrance services at the War Memorial at Sharston Depot and also supports special events, such as helping to co-ordinate services for Manchester’s Parklife Festival operation.

Lee Wasnidge, Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: “We are all really proud of Junior for this amazing commendation. He is a true credit to Stagecoach – a trusted, admired, respected and excellent role model.

“His encouragement, help and assistance to the many people he deals with is second to none. He is a real ambassador and an all-round exemplary citizen who has helped make Manchester a better place, with his years of community service in the Moss Side area and his help and assistance in keeping things moving in our business to keep buses on the road and people on the move. He is a true legend and all of his colleagues will be delighted at Junior receiving this well-deserved recognition.”

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