Four Worcestershire organisations recognised with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Published Wednesday, 1st June 2016

Harvington Hall Volunteers, The Alfrick and Lulsley Community Shop, Maggs Day Centre, and Kyre & Stoke Bliss Neighbourhood Lunch...

...have all been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service... the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Harvington Hall, built in the 1300s and renowned for its priest hiding places and rare Elizabethan wall paintings has over 90 volunteers.  They carry out a wide range of tasks, from guiding groups around the Hall, to running the reception, leading workshops for schools, historical re-enactment, gardening and conservation tasks. The volunteers collectively contribute an average of 8,500 – 9,000 volunteer hours per year.  (For further information please contact Emma Pullen, Hall Manager, on 01562 777846)

The Alfrick and Lulsley Community Shop is run by 73  local volunteers run a  thriving Community shop, Post Office and Café in a porta cabin situated in Alfrick Village Hall car park.   Notably the first “Post Office Local” to be run by volunteers providing this essential service to the community. The shop is manned by six volunteers each day contributing to over 6000 volunteer hours per year, with the assistance of a part-time manager.

The Volunteers have created an amazing and much needed Social Hub for the village in addition to the excellent village shop. (For further information please contact Alan Soper, Chairman on 01886 832354)

Maggs Day Centre was founded in 1984 after a homeless man died after years of sleeping rough on the streets. His death prompted members of the local community to work together to set up a day centre dedicated to helping the homeless people of Worcester. With the help of its many volunteers, Maggs has been able to help large numbers of homeless people over the years. They are now also able to provide support, training and practical assistance to help homeless people to rebuild their lives. (For further information please contact Mel Kirk, Manager on 01905 25027)

Kyre & Stoke Bliss Neighbourhood Lunch was set up four years ago to provide companionship to the elderly and isolated living in this very rural farming community. The group's 10 volunteers organise monthly lunch gatherings providing guests with much needed socialisation and nutritious home cooked food. Initially set up for a small group of people, the number of guests now totals nearer 50 per month, which includes not only the elderly but also young mothers and children, all of whom look forward to this important social event. (For further information please contact Hazel Cumming on 07703 281114).

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

These groups will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire later this summer.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Lt Col Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE, said: "I am delighted to be able to present this prestigious award on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, to four such worthy organisations. Volunteering is such an important part of our national and county life; it is not only essential to the success of many local charitable organisations, but it is also an excellent way of making new friends, learning new skills, as well as giving something back to the community. I am very much looking forward to meeting the volunteers and learning more about the important work they do when I present the Awards."