10:00AM, Sunday 09 June 2019
Voluntary organisations from across the area have been rewarded for their hard work with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
This is the highest award given to volunteer groups in the UK and was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
Representatives of the groups attended a special garden party at Buckingham Palace last month to celebrate, before the groups receive the award directly from the lord lieutenants of their counties later this summer.
The Express spoke to the different groups in our area who received the prestigious honour to mark the great work they do in the community.
Stoke Poges, Wexham & Fulmer Horticultural Society
Established in 1884, the society provides an opportunity for gardeners in the three villages and surrounding areas to meet and learn from each other.
Annual shows for flowers, fruit and vegetables, art and craft, cookery, and photography, are held in the grounds of Stoke Poges School.
The Queen’s Award has been given for ‘passing horticultural knowledge and tradition from generation to generation since 1884’.
Chairwoman Ruth Rooley said: “I am absolutely delighted. This award recognises volunteers past and present over many generations and will, I hope, inspire others to be involved and ensure the future.”
For more information, visit https://hortsoc.org
Reading Refugee Support Group
Reading Refugee Support Group (RRSG) has helped those most in need to rebuild their lives in Berkshire for the past 25 years.
Founded in 1994, the charity helps refugees and asylum seekers by providing them with support from solicitors and volunteer caseworkers and running English language courses.
On Twitter, the Reading Refugee Support Group account said: “RRSG was started by volunteers in 1994, so a massive thank you to all of the amazing volunteers who've been involved through the years.”
Sport in Mind
Based in Reading, the charity aims to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity.
Sport in Mind’s work includes delivering services in partnership with the NHS in order to aid recovery, promote mental wellbeing and improve physical health for people across the South East and Dorset.
Founder Neil Harris said: “It is fantastic recognition for all the amazing work our dedicated volunteers and coaches commit to the charity each week.”
Visit www.sportinmind. org
The Bucks branch of national mental health charity Mind has also scooped the Queen’s Award.
With more than 570 volunteers, the delivery of the charity’s mental health services are helped by two thirds of the volunteers being children and young people, who have trained to be peer supporters within their own schools.
Chair of the board of trustees Tori Roddy said: “The contribution of our volunteers is invaluable, enabling us to better respond to demand and help so many more people.”
To find out more about volunteering for Bucks Mind, visit www.bucksmind. org.uk/get-involved/volunteering
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