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Coronation awards for inspiring volunteers

12 May 2023

Inspiring volunteers from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been recognised as part of the Coronation celebrations.

Nine people have received Coronation Champions Awards for making an exceptional difference in their communities. The awards were introduced by the Royal Voluntary Service with the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort who is a passionate and long-standing advocate of volunteering.

There were eight categories of awards, with everyone able to nominate a volunteer. In total, just 500 Coronation Champions were announced before the Coronation weekend.

Those chosen for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough included:

  1. Sports, culture and heritage: Richard and Phillipa Winser from Perry, who have introduced fly fishing and angling to those who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience it. Both are voluntary game angling guides for disabled, special needs and terminally ill children. They also instruct and assess for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, the Scout Association, a number of other charities and local specialist support groups.
  2. Health and care: David Monk, from Lower Cambourne, who is the associate medical director for St John’s Ambulance and piloted a unique joint operational agreement between the charity and the Emergency Department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital which made a huge difference in easing pressures during Covid. David is also a regular volunteer on top of his demanding work.
  3. Community: Lianne Simpson, from Brampton, helps people in crisis by providing meals, clothing and other essential support, while she also opened two affordable stores. Lianne has saved an incredible £650,000 worth of food from burning in landfill which has provided more than 700,000 meals to people. She also provides young people leaving care with all the essentials they need and supports people getting back into employment with volunteering and training opportunities. Overall, she has supported more than 1,500 families to move away from needing anymore emergency aid and has raised more than £90,000 from a mountain climb despite battling a pain condition.
  4. Sports, culture and heritage: Karen Sanderson, from Linton, who started up a jazz band 25 years ago, encouraging people to pick up an instrument after many years of not playing or encouraging young people to play with a larger group of musicians to hone skills and to inspire them to continue their love of music to make a career of it. Karen's jazz band has raised an amazing £280,000 for various charities for Cancer Research and Anthony Nolan Trust because of her husband’s cancer diagnosis. As a result, 198 people have been put on the stem cell transplant list.
  5. Health and care: Christopher Atkinson, from Peterborough, is a volunteer with Cruse Bereavement Support. His main role is as a supervisor and mentor to 12 other volunteers, helping them support bereaved people, including during the pandemic.
  6. Supporting young people and children: Luke Claxton, from Huntingdon, is a fundraising volunteer for Young Lives vs Cancer. Over the last five years Luke has held a number of fundraising events such as golf days, European cycle events, Walks in London, London Marathons and dropped off various items to a treatment centre in Addenbrooke’s Hospital to be enjoyed by the children going through cancer treatment.

Joint winners of another award have chosen not to have their names revealed.

For Richard and Phillipa a trip to the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace was very welcome, despite having to set off at 2.30am the following morning to take a group fly fishing in Slovenia!

Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Julie Spence said: “I would like to thank everyone for their nominations and it was heartening to see just how many inspiring volunteers we have here.

“Those chosen do incredible work in their communities and were fully deserving of their awards!”