Yorkshire charities and organisations win Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups in Yorkshire have received the highest award given to organisations delivering exceptional service within their communities.

Sir Martyn Lewis. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

Eight organisations from the region are among the 230 across the UK which have this year been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, it was announced today.

These include Home-Start Richmondshire, a friendship and support service for parents at Catterick Garrison; the Grassington Hub in the Craven district, which offers services to residents, businesses, and visitors; Washburn Heritage Centre volunteers; and the Harrogate and Ripon Food Angels, which provides hot meals and company for the elderly.

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Also honoured are: Brighouse Swimming Club; the Colne Valley Museum; Help 4 Homeless Veterans in Rotherham; and The Sleep Charity in Doncaster, which supports children and parents with sleeping problems.

Catterick Garrison, where Home-Start Richmondshire is based. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The awards coincide with Volunteers’ Week, which began yesterday.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chairman, Sir Martyn Lewis, said: “This year’s Queen’s Awards highlight the considerable achievements of groups of volunteers who have been making a real impact to the fabric of our country for many years – in some cases decades.

“Inspired by all that is best in the human spirit, they are made up of local people who have come together to address particular issues and problems facing their communities - often in new and imaginative ways.

“All of these award winners have demonstrated a long-term commitment to volunteering that gives real meaning to society, and which shows Britain at its best. Moreover, some of them have also managed to provide valuable support with the fight against Covid-19. We owe them our gratitude – and our congratulations.”

The recipients of the award are announced every year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, which took place in 1953.

But this year many of those honoured have adapted their services to respond to the coronavirus outbreak as the voluntary sector continues to play a role in efforts nationally.

Any volunteer-led group comprising two or more people and described as “having a positive impact on the lives of others in an exceptional way” can be nominated for an award.

But the groups must satisfy eligibility requirements before the nomination can be processed through to the assessment stages of the award.

Nominations for next year’s awards recipients close on September 25.