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Three outstanding voluntary groups receive a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

It has today been announced that the following volunteer led groups have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK – the MBE for volunteer groups:

  • Barrow Women’s Community Matters
  • The 12 teams and members of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA)
  • The REACT Foundation

Barrow Women’s Community Matters support vulnerable women and children: women who for example have experienced the criminal justice system; victims/survivors of domestic violence/abuse; girls aged 13 and over and boys from 13-16. They provide practical and emotional support and activities to promote social inclusion. Their services include courses to promote self-confidence, self-esteem and improve life skills.

Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association. The Mountain Rescue Teams in Cumbria are made up entirely of volunteers. They are one of the busiest Mountain Rescue regions in the County. They respond 24hours a day, 365 days a year, operating in dangerous and inhospitable conditions in order to rescue those at risk in the mountains, lakes and mines of Cumbria.

The 12 teams comprise: Cockermouth Mountain Rescue, Coniston Mountain Rescue, Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit, Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue, Kendal Mountain Rescue, Keswick Mountain Rescue, Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue, Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue, Patterdale Mountain Rescue, Penrith Mountain Rescue, Lake District Mountain Rescue Search dogs and Wasdale Mountain Rescue.

The REACT Foundation is a group on the West Coast who provides a range of interventions and initiatives  in addition to the school curriculum for young  people to encourage the study of engineering and science, promoting performance in key subjects and supporting aspiration. Their programmes have been developed and honed over 15 years based on evidence and experience to maximise impact for those who need it most.

The winning organisation will receive a certificate signed by HM The Queen and a domed glass crystal which will be presented by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman. Two volunteers from each of the organisations will also receive an invitation to attend a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is an annual award made to recognise and reward the most exceptional and innovative groups who provide voluntary led activities carried out by local groups in the community. It is a highly competitive and prestigious award and only about half of the nominations can expect to win. The award was announced in 2002 as part of the celebrations for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and was first known as The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award.

Any group of two or more people doing outstanding volunteering work can be nominated for the award. Most importantly the group must be volunteer led and the majority of the group must be volunteers; more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK. The groups should also have been running for three years or more to be eligible.

To be nominated they should do work that:

  • provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
  • is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
  • is run locally

For further details about the award and how to nominate visit – https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service/overview

Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensman

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman said: “The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest accolade for any voluntary organisation and I am thrilled that some of our organisations in Cumbria have achieved national recognition. I would like to thank our winning organisations for their tireless work and commitment to the communities they serve. I do congratulate them. They are all thoroughly deserving of this award. Volunteers are the glue that hold our communities together.”

“There are many more voluntary groups across Cumbria doing excellent, innovative work enhancing the lives and experiences of many people in their local communities. Many have stepped up to the current Covid-19 challenge in very difficult circumstances and they have all our admiration and gratitude. I hope that this will prompt more nominations for the next year’s round of awards.  If you know of an exceptional voluntary group who meets the above criteria then please nominate them by midnight on the 25 September 2020 for them to be considered for the 2021 Queens Award for Voluntary Service.”

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