Chesterfield charity receives King's birthday honour for voluntary service
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The Volunteer Centre Chesterfield & NE Derbyshire, on Knifesmithgate, was among 262 organisations nationwide chosen to receive the award, which was created in 2002 to mark the late Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
Chief executive Dave Radford said: “Obviously we are all tremendously proud of what we have achieved. Our volunteers worked so hard and they did so much during the pandemic providing a much-needed shopping service to individuals. The local communities would have struggled without their fantastic help.
“However, it is so much more than that, this isn’t something that is handed out on a plate, it is an award that shines a light on the fantastic work carried out by volunteers and groups that make a big difference in their communities. I think it will take sometime to wipe the smile off my face.”
The centre’s projects including a befriending service for lonely and socially isolated older people and practical support for medically vulnerable people coming out of hospital.
Its team of ‘rapid response’ volunteers carry out all manner of tasks for people in crisis situations, ranging from shopping to dog walking, transport, cleaning and home maintenance.
Dave and his team provide a vital link with social services and local authorities, often advocating for residents to ensure they get the support they need.
Their efforts help residents to retain their independence where they would rather not enter full-time care and provide an extra hand to families and friends who may be struggling to look after loved ones.
Beyond that, the centre connects volunteers to opportunities elsewhere, runs an accreditation quality mark for voluntary organisations and hosts the Voluntary Sector Awards each year, which celebrate best practice across the sector and give unsung heroes the recognition they deserve.
The award is itself a well-earned acknowledgement of the energy and commitment which the centre’s staff and volunteers dedicate to each case referral.
Correspondence from the KAVS National Assessment Committee said: “This represents a tremendous achievement and we hope that the group’s volunteers will feel immensely proud of it.”
The announcement was made on Tuesday, November 14, continuing his mother’s tradition, and cited officially in the London Gazette of the same date.
This will be followed by a local presentation of a cut glass award and an official certificate signed by the King. Next summer, members of the charity team will be invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
KAVS chairman Martyn Lewis said: “I have no doubt that these awards will delight His Majesty The King, with his well-known commitment to volunteering, on his birthday. This year’s 262 King’s Awards for Voluntary Service honour truly impressive recipients across the length and breadth of the UK.
“The awardees work selflessly as groups of volunteers to address every conceivable kind of local issue across all our communities. We owe them huge congratulations, but also much more than that for the inestimable value they bring to our society.”
If you are interested in volunteering with the centre, or accessing its services, see chesterfieldvc.online.