September was a truly sad month as our community and indeed the world mourned the loss of the Queen.
She meant so much to so many of us, with her seven decades of constant service often making it feel as though we would never lose her.
Her passing was a truly sad moment, but it also reminded us of everything she did as our Head of State.
As the world changed dramatically, she remained an ever-constant figure, standing above the fray of politics, keeping our country steady, no matter the political turbulence.
Throughout all this change she assured us and demonstrated time and again the commitment, selflessness, and humility that we expect from our leaders.
Not only this but her work was of huge impact on the countless organisations and individuals she met.
One of my earliest childhood memories was seeing the Queen as she visited the pioneering St Christopher’s Hospice in our constituency.
Her support, and that of the royal family, made such a huge difference to their work and helped to highlight everything our local Hospice has achieved.
The Queen also helped to bring us all together with numerous jubilees and celebrations over the decades. Just this Summer, we came together to hold platinum jubilee parties.
I was proud to help organise my jubilee street party and it was so heartening to see neighbours coming together for one of the first times since the pandemic and helping to raise more than £800 for the brilliant Living Well foodbank.
That such things – communities coming together, new friendships, raising money for good causes - all happened in her name, is testament to the place she had in our lives.
It was an honour and privilege to recognise all of this by attending the service in Parliament for receiving the Queen’s coffin and to attend the lying-in-state.
I was also proud to pay my respects to the Queen in the condolence book in Beckenham Library and to give a speech in Parliament paying tribute to all of her work which you can see here.
As I said in my speech; Queen Elizabeth II went above the call of duty, and for that, we will always be grateful.