A group of volunteers from local charity Community Solutions North West, based in Accrington have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Community Solutions currently has over 100 volunteers supporting their charitable work, which supports people who are lonely, socially isolated or in crisis and going through life changes. 2020 proved to be one of the most challenging years yet, with an increased demand on befriending and crisis services for the group, but volunteers went above and beyond supporting those in need across East Lancashire.
Last year, over 180 volunteers offered countless hours of their time to offer telephone and digital befriending services, deliver welfare packs, help people access local services and to offer support and guidance to over 2,000 local people and their families. Volunteers made 8561 telephone befriending calls and have delivered almost 1,000 welfare and wellbeing packs – including to those in hospital and alone, over the last twelve months
Community Solutions North West is one of 241 charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Representatives of Community Solutions North West will receive the award crystal and certificate from The Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth, Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from Community Solutions North West will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
“We are truly honoured to know that our amazing volunteers have been gifted this prestigious award. We would not be able to do all the work that we do without volunteers and for them to have all their hard work recognised is wonderful. We are extremely proud of them and thank them hugely for their efforts” said Deborah Clark, CEO of Community Solutions North West.