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Cambridgeshire groups receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

03 June 2022

Three groups of dedicated volunteers based in Cambridgeshire have just been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

These are CARESCO – a dedicated community based charity in Sawtry, Library at Home Services – bringing the library to people’s homes, enhancing lives, social interaction and well being and PARCA – Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association, multicultural organisation that works tirelessly to champion social inclusion within society.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

CARESCO’s General Manager, Emma Flanz, “We are extremely honoured and proud to receive the Queen’s Award. CARESCO is a vital lifeline for many in our community. Our volunteers, both past and present, have kindly donated the most precious thing; their time and their talents. As everyone knows all too well, the pandemic has made life very challenging for the past two years, but thanks to our incredible team, we have kept going. This very coveted award is a fitting tribute to everyone who supports CARESCO”.

Cambridgeshire County Council Volunteer and Health Development Manager, Elizabeth Sheppard said; “We are delighted that our Library at Home volunteers have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is brilliant recognition for the amazing work these volunteers do.

Our volunteers deliver a home library service to many people who cannot get out and about. These dedicated volunteers have provided a lifeline of friendship and books over many years.”

Moez Nathu, CEO of Parca said: “It is and honour to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. We have supported many vulnerable people through our organisation, and we want to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for being a pillar of PARCA. They have worked very hard, and they have shared many valuable life skills to those we support.

These Cambridgeshire groups are joining a total of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

Their work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways in which fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including: a rural support group for farmers in Shropshire; a community magazine addressing isolation in the Western Isles; a running club engaging all ages in County Tyrone; a film academy and community hub based in South Wales, and a food bank in Greater London feeding vulnerable individuals and providing training opportunities.

Six Representatives from each group will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM, Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire later this summer.

In addition, two volunteers from each group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM, Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire said; ‘Winning a Queens Award for Voluntary Service is a great accolade and it’s brilliant that the County has three organisations providing life enhancing services to our citizens winning an award is this very pertinent Platinum Jubilee year.

“I look forward to visiting each organisation later in the year to present their award and meet those who have made it possible through their exemplary voluntary service.”