Volunteers win royal recognition for efforts

VOLUNTEERS from across Yorkshire have received royal recognition for their efforts.

The winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the equivalent of MBEs for groups of volunteers – were announced yesterday with three groups from the region being honoured.

This year’s Yorkshire recipients are the Friends of Sandall Park, for the regeneration of an urban park in Doncaster, Humber Rescue, which provides lifeboat cover along the Humber Estuary, and Hull Kung Fu, which provides local children with support in self defence and career development.

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Award committee chairman broadcaster Martyn Lewis said: “Volunteer groups make such an important contribution to their communities, often without praise for the incredible job they do. In these difficult times their efforts are even more valuable.”

The winners were selected from 413 groups nominated by the public which aims to recognise the outstanding contribution of local volunteers to their communities.

They will receive a certificate signed by the Queen and an invitation to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in the summer.

In separate awards, Trevor Constantine, of the Friends of Bradford Royal Infirmary, and Ann Hughes, of the Hospital Heartbeat Appeal in Leeds, have also been recognised with the prestigious medal of the Order of Mercy for voluntary service over many years.

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Lord Lingfield, president of the League of Mercy, praised them for their “extraordinary work for the welfare of others”. Both were “a marvellous example” of people who had given wonderful service to their communities.

The awards ceremony took place at the Mansion House in the City of London.

The League of Mercy, originally created in 1899 for the encouragement and recognition of voluntary work in hospitals and the community, was refounded as a registered charity in 1999 and now continues the work of the original founder, the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.