A RED Cross volunteer from Bury who supported the victims of the Manchester Arena atrocity - and has been on the frontline of the coronavirus response - has been praised.

Rukia Shepherd has been presented with a commemorative coin for her efforts, which also saw her see service in the aftermath of the Grenfell disaster.

The award has come as part of the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross this week, with the coin specially commissioned from the Royal Mint.

Rukhia said: "Over the last few months I’ve been working on the frontline of the coronavirus response alongside my job teaching key worker children.

"I provided support to 20 refugee and asylum-seeking families over 13 weeks in Rochdale, Oldham and part of cenntral Manchester by providing vital food and medical supplies.

"Over this time I grew to know these families and supported them with any additional needs they might have, such as bedding and clothes.

“These few months have been challenging and surreal at times, so it’s been a lovely surprise and an honour to receive this recognition.

"I feel that I’m receiving this on behalf of all the volunteers up and down the country that are pulling together during this crazy time.

"I put my heart and soul in to my role and I feel grateful that it has been recognised, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the team of people behind me – from the team checking in on me after my shifts to my manager Gale.”

The coin is an uncirculated £5 piece featuring bespoke artwork by Henry Gray, the coin bears the words 'The Power of Kindness'.

And the etching on the outside edge is 'Per Humanitatem Ad Pacem', which translates from the Latin to 'Through Humanity to Peace'.

Mike Adamson, the organisation's chief executive, said: "We are honoured that the Royal Mint has chosen to acknowledge 150 years of support by the British Red Cross to people in crisis.

"Our staff and volunteers are putting kindness in action at the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We have been supporting the most vulnerable by delivering food and medicine, making sure refugees and people seeking asylum are safe, providing a supportive ear through our national support line and helping the NHS to get patients home from hospital.

“From then to now, it’s all down to the dedication of our volunteers, staff and the generosity of our supporters that we can continue our lifesaving work.

"And it is the power of their kindness that will ensure we are there for those who need us most for many years to come.”