The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2015

The Queen's Award for Voluntary ServiceThe Brigitte Trust, based in Dorking, is recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2015

A voluntary group from Dorking which works in the community to support people in their homes at the end of life has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Brigitte Trust is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2015 and offers a free volunteer service of emotional support and practical help at home when a life-threatening illness has been diagnosed. Volunteers visit weekly, offering respite to carers and the chance to share the emotional burden, as well as practical tasks like transport and shopping.

Catherine Hodgson, Chief Executive, and Jane Bellingham, Service Development Manager from The Brigitte Trust attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 28th given by the Queen to celebrate other winners of this year’s award.

The Brigitte Trust is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards handed out to groups have increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

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. Award winners this year range from Ablaze, a charity helping to raise academic achievement amongst disadvantaged young people in Bristol to a volunteer rescue boat service on Loch Lomond.

The Brigitte Trust will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey later this summer.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said:

“I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the best of democracy in action.”

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said:

“I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that
we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”

Dame Sarah Goad, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, commented:

“A record number of 12 voluntary groups from across Surrey have had their outstanding contributions recognised in 2015 and receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the prestigious UK Honour which sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering. This is the highest-ever number in any one year to be awarded in our county since the annual award was created in 2002. Together, the groups reflect extraordinary levels of volunteering and selfless contributions that make a real difference in their communities, and they deserve our gratitude and congratulations”

“These groups and organisations are the key to inspiring others – across Surrey – to get involved in volunteering,” she adds.  “We want to encourage even more nominations in Surrey for Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service in 2016. So if you know an inspiring voluntary group, please visit www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service to find out how to nominate.”

Catherine Hodgson, Chief Executive of The Brigitte Trust said:

“I am enormously proud of The Brigitte Trust’s achievement in being awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the MBE for charities. It is an award for and about our volunteers and recognises their committed and unstinting support for our clients. Our volunteers are at the very centre of all that we do. My congratulations to each of them”.