Docklands bomb survivor recognised for helping others during Covid pandemic

Docklands bomb survivor Jonathan Ganesh has been recognised for his outstanding service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Ganesh has said he is very touched to receive the Pandemic Response Medal in recognition of his efforts during the pandemic.

While the UK grappled with Covid-19 from 2020, Mr Ganesh became an NHS responder and drove a support ambulance.

He also co-ordinated the Docklands Victims Association (DVA) pandemic response team, delivering essential items such as masks, hand sanitisers gloves and equipment to NHS facilities across London.

Mr Ganesh collected patients from hospitals and delivered food, medications and other essential items to those who had been forced to isolate at home.

Coronavirus, Mon Apr 20, 2020
Jonathan Ganesh, president of the Docklands Victims’ Association and an NHS Volunteer Responder, with an ambulance donated by Elite Support Services to support the efforts against the Covid-19 outbreak, in London (Yui Mok/PA)

He drove a support ambulance with his friend and fellow DVA founder Wayne Gruba, who later went on to contract Covid-19 and died in October 2021.

Mr Ganesh was left seriously injured as a result of the IRA bomb blast in the London docklands in February 1996, which killed two people and injured 42 others.

He said he accpeted the award on behalf of everyone on the DVA pandemic team, and particularly Mr Gruba.

“I feel very touched today to receive this award. However, I’m accepting the award on behalf of all the DVA Covid-19 Pandemic team especially my dear friend Wayne Gruba,” he said.

“Wayne died after contracting Covid whilst working on the front line. Wayne and all those that died on the front line whilst helping others are truly the best of humanity.”

Mr Ganesh has been congratulated by a number of others impacted by terrorism.

Ihsan Bashir, whose brother Inam, was killed in the Canary Wharf bomb, said: “As a former cancer patient I had to isolate.

“The support I received from Jonathan was amazing. I’m so pleased he has been finally acknowledged for his work during Covid.”

Susanne Dodd, whose father Inspector Stephen Dodd of the Metropolitan Police was killed in the IRA bomb attack on Harrods in 1983, said: “I’m so pleased that Jonathan has been recognised for his courageous actions in the pandemic.

“He is truly deserving of this medal.”

Meanwhile Joe Holbeach, who was severely injured in the IRA bomb attack on the Enniskillen Remembrance Day service in 1987, said he will never forget Mr Ganesh’s kindness to him.

“I was sent masks, hand sanitisers and gloves,” he said.

“I will not forget the kindness of Mr Ganesh and the DVA. Mr Ganesh kept in contact with me during my Covid isolation so I would not feel alone.”