Suffolk charities win Queen's Award for volunteering efforts
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Five charities in Suffolk are celebrating after being named as winners of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
The Hour Community, Butley Ferry, Home-Start in Suffolk, Inside Out Community and Success After Stroke are all being recognised for their community work.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is the equivalent of an MBE.
The Hour Community helps people living in and around Framlingham with a number of projects.
Nick Corke, CEO of Hour Community, said he was "delighted" that the volunteers who have given their time over the past 10 years had been recognised in this way.
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"It does not matter whether they have been with us from the beginning or only just started, every single one of them deserves this award," said Mr Corke.
"I would also like to thank the trustees who have supported me, since we registered as a charity, even when they may have thought some of the ideas I had were perhaps slightly off the wall, but thankfully, with the benefit of hindsight, have proven beneficial to the community."
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Home-Start in Suffolk helps families across the county through difficult circumstances.
Tara Spence, Home-Start in Suffolk’s CEO, said: “We are beyond delighted that our amazing volunteers have been nominated for this honour and absolutely thrilled they have been selected to receive such a prestigious award.
"We are so proud of our incredible team of more than 270 volunteers who provide such a vital support to so many Suffolk families.
"This is such a wonderful achievement and is well-deserved recognition of the commitment and dedication that our volunteers have towards the wellbeing of families in our county.”
Butley Ferry was also recognised, in what has been a busy year after the ferry featured in the Sutton Hoo film, The Dig.
Roy Truman, head ferryman, said: “To get recognition for our work from such a high level is the icing on the cake.
"To work in such a peaceful and unique corner of the country is a joy in itself. There has been a ferry at this spot since 1383 and it is a privilege to carry on the tradition of helping our passengers on their journeys.
"Our volunteers turn out in all weathers to not only do the physically demanding job of rowing the boat but to help to build and maintain the jetties and walkways.
"This award has been earned through their hard work and commitment."
Sudbury-based Success after Stroke helps rebuild survivors' confidence after having a stroke.
Trustee Viv Bourne said: "It's amazing. This is for the volunteers.
"We have the most amazing volunteers. They give their time freely and generously. They build up wonderful relationships with the members.
"Some come from as far as Saffron Walden."
The final winning charity was Inside Out Community which uses art and creativity to help with mental health and wellbeing.
“This is such an amazing honour for our charity," said Matthew Morris, chairman of Inside Out Community.
"A wonderful recognition for the incredible work of our volunteers, alongside our team, our artists, our members and our trustees.
"We all believe that participation in creativity and the arts has the power to transform lives, we hope that this award will help us to bring creative opportunities to many more people in Suffolk.”
Representatives of each charity will receive the award crystal and certificate from Clare Fitzroy, Countess of Euston, Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, later this summer.
Furthermore, two volunteers from each of the charities 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.
Entries are now open for the 2022 awards.
To nominate a volunteer group all you need is two supporting letters.
All the criteria and further information on how to nominate can be found online.
The Suffolk Lieutenancy office is pleased to offer advice and support to those applying.
Nominations for the 2022 awards close on September 15, 2021.