Two voluntary groups from Peterborough have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for voluntary groups in the UK.
Peterborough Sailability and Railworld Wildlife Haven are two of 250 volunteer-led groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awarded groups have increased again this year, demonstrating the continuous expansion and value of the voluntary sector in today’s society.
This is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities. The recipients of the award are announced each year on 2 June - the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Peterborough Sailability, based at Ferry Meadows, offers people with disabilities the chance to sail and broaden their horizons.
Railworld Wildlife Haven, based near Nene Valley railway station, helps create and maintain wildlife habitats as well as running an environmental education centre, providing recreational, social and educational opportunities for young and old.
This year’s awardees are incredibly diverse, innovative and impactful, ranging from FISH Neighbourhood Care, an organisation committed to combating loneliness and social isolation in older and vulnerable people living in Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen in Greater London to The Monday Night Club, providing social opportunities and sporting activities for adults with learning disabilities and autism in Worcestershire.
The groups will receive the award from Julie Spence, the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire later this summer.
Councillor Irene Walsh, Peterborough City Council's Cabinet Holder for Communities, said: "These two groups comprise of dedicated volunteers who work hard all year round to the benefit of local communities. I am delighted that they have won such a prestigious award, it is fully deserved and a tremendous honour for our city."
Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “Everyone who has received this award should be incredibly proud. Their service, commitment and care has a profoundly positive impact on communities throughout the country and I am delighted they have been recognised with this prestigious award.
“The record number of recipients this year is testament to the strength of the voluntary sector and I am sure this trend will continue into the future. If you know any organisations that deserve to be recognised, make your voice heard and nominate them for next year.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said:"This year’s record number of Queen’s Award awardees are a powerful testimony to the remarkable achievements and innovative ideas which characterise volunteering in the UK. They prove that, more than ever, volunteers beavering away at grassroots level are the active lifeblood of our communities, identifying all kinds of problems and issues and tackling them with enthusiasm, talent and a high degree of success.
“The recipients of the Queen’s Award are at the very top of a formidable volunteering movement in the UK involving millions of our citizens, and going from strength to strength.”