Sixteen voluntary groups from across Staffordshire have been honoured with Her Majesty the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The honour recognises outstanding voluntary contributions in local communities and has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals.
Groups recognised in this year’s awards include:
- Access Tai Chi – Chesterton, Stoke on Trent
- Blurton Farm Residents Association, Blurton Stoke on Trent
- Burslem Jubilee Project, Stoke on Trent
- Burntwood & District Community First Responders, Norton Canes, Cannock
- Eccleshall Show Society
- Fish 2013 Fishing in Safe Hands, Burton on Trent
- Ford Green Hall Museum, Stoke on Trent
- Homestart Staffordshire Moorlands
- Kendall & Wall Community Interest Company
- M Y Inter Theatre, Burton on Trent
- Newcastle Weekly Blind Social Club
- Rugeley & District Community First Responders
- Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society, Stafford
- Staffordshire Buddies, Hanley, Stoke on Trent
- Staffordshire Police Cadets
- Werrington Community Volunteers
In the coming months, the groups will receive their certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen along with an exclusive commemorative crystal presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson CBE KStJ who is Her Majesty’s representative for the County.
Mr Dudson said:
“Once again, our voluntary groups have done us extremely proud, with a record 16 groups being honoured this year. These organisations are shining examples of the hundreds of groups in this County whose volunteers improve the lives of others in our communities every day.
“We are extremely grateful to them all and I send them my warmest congratulations and look forward to presenting their awards to them later in the year”
Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Michael Greatorex added his congratulations and said:
“Where would we be without our many volunteers. It is clear to me that the people of Staffordshire are always ready to help in any way they can without seeking reward. Only on days like today do we have the opportunity to pay tribute to the many people who give so freely of their time and expertise to the benefit of others. Staffordshire is a wonderful place to live, work and play and today confirms that.”
250 groups from across the UK have received honours, up from 224 last year. Staffordshire’s 16 winners also places them third in the Country for 2018, only beaten by two much larger metropolitan areas. To date, 88 groups from Staffordshire have received this annual Award since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Representatives from the groups have also received an invitation to attend one of the Royal Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace this year. For details of all this year’s Award winners and information on how to nominate a group visit https://qavs.direct.gov.uk/ where a nomination form can be completed and submitted online.
Quotes from some of this year’s winners:
Staffordshire Police cadets; Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Ellis said:
“I am absolutely delighted the work of the police cadet adult leaders has been formally recognised. The smooth running of the cadet scheme would not be possible without the adult volunteers who give up their own time to guide and mentor the cadets. Their role is invaluable in helping to bring a sense of civic duty and character-building to youngsters on their journey through to adulthood. Our adult volunteers are helping to develop great citizens for Staffordshire in the future.”
Chief Constable Gareth Morgan added:
“This is a huge honour and great recognition for all our adult leaders who selflessly volunteer each week to help run our cadet units and I continue to be grateful for the work they do.”
Ford Green Hall Museum; Neil Dawson, Trustee and Volunteer said:
“Being active members of a local community group such as that at Ford Green Hall Museum is hard work and can be wearing at times. To receive the Queen’s award for Voluntary Service revitalises our group and motivates us to renew our efforts. So a very big THANK YOU to all involved especially to Staffordshire County Council and the Deputy Lieutenants who were such willing listeners.”
Kendall & Wall Charitable Trust; Dr. Michael Wall, Chief Officer said:
“The Award is a tremendous honour for all our volunteers who work tirelessly for the charity, and I would like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to them all. Thanks also to our wonderful clients who continue to support our charity- we couldn’t do our work without them. “
Rugeley & District Community First Responders; Mr Sean Cooper – Group Co-ordinator said:
“We are so very proud and honoured to be receiving The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for our charity. It is wonderful that the lifesaving work that our volunteer responders have provided over the last 11 years, & continue to provide in our local community today, has been recognised in this way. We will display The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service logo with extreme pride.”
Fish 2013, Fishing in Safe Hands; Mr John Anderson, Chairman said:
“Our wonderful volunteers are overwhelmed that our club has won the Queens Award. A lot of hard work and volunteering hours are put into running a club like ours and all of it is for the benefit of the young people in our club but it is a great honour for our work to be recognised.”
Burntwood & District Community First Responders; Daniel Walsh, Group coordinator said:
“It’s great news that our fantastic team of volunteers have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service! Our volunteers, who work in the community responding to 999 calls and offering life saving medical interventions have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.”
Werrington Community Volunteers; David Shaw, Chairman said:
“The news that the Werrington Community Volunteers Group has been granted a Queens Award for voluntary services is a wonderful accolade for our many members and follows ten years of service to the community. During this time over £350,000 has been raised without cost to residents, to undertake many hundreds of activities and events, over 800 in the Werrington Community Library & Wellbeing Centre alone since the group took the library over just two years ago.
“The wellbeing initiative was the first of its kind in the UK and due to its success, with over 2,500 visitors each month, is now being used as a template for others. The prestige the award will give our group will enable us to move forward in a more positive way as we are proposing to transform the way in which health and lifestyle care is delivered in our village, particularly for our aging population where we have nearly twice the national average. For our future this award is worth its weight in gold!”
Burslem Jubilee Project, Stoke on Trent; Sheila Podmore, Trustee / Project leader said:
“Burslem Jubilee are delighted at the fantastic news to be the recipients of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service which recognises the hard work and dedication of volunteers who work tirelessly to improve the health, confidence and self-belief of all individuals and their families in a safe non-judgemental welcoming environment.”
Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society; Richard Williams, Chief Executive said:
“We are delighted that the two hundred volunteers within the Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society who work tirelessly to organise the principle activities of the Society, including the Staffordshire County Show and English Winter Fair, have been recognised by the awarding of such a prestigious honour. The Society, which was founded in 1800 to promote excellence in agriculture through competition, has always been a volunteer based organisation. In consequence this award, not only recognises the contribution made by the current volunteers, but also the contribution made by generations of the same families over the past two hundred and eighteen years.”
Access Tai Chi – Chesterton, Stoke on Trent; Mrs Joanne Palmer, Treasurer and Committee member said:
“We feel honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious award from the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Since 2006 our efforts have been so worthwhile seeing people with varying health conditions and disabilities come together to learn the health benefits of an ancient skill set of T’ai Chi and Qigong exercises whilst finding support and friendship amongst our members. We are very proud of the continuing work that our volunteers do to keep our Community Group alive.”
Homestart Staffordshire Moorlands; Mrs Louise Walker, Senior Organiser said:
“Home-Start Staffordshire Moorlands are delighted to receive the news of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, particularly in the year when we are celebrating 20 years since the scheme was founded. The award is a great honour and is testament to the commitment and dedication of our volunteers, who work so hard to make a positive difference to families with young children across the Moorlands district with their caring, compassionate approach. We feel very proud of their work and that they are being recognised through this Queen’s Award.”
Eccleshall Show Society; Ms Mary Elizabeth Cartmail – Director and Secretary said:
“Eccleshall Show Society is absolutely delighted to win the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. It is wonderful to be recognised for all the work that our Society and volunteers put into this one day local agricultural show, which is run totally by volunteers, helping raising funds for local charities.”