The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team was presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services at Eastbourne Town Hall last week.
The award, which is the highest honour an organisation in the UK can be given, was presented to the charity as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year. It was a welcomed bit of good news amid fears the chaplaincy may have to close due to a financial crisis.
The prestigious accolade was presented to long-serving volunteer Amanda Nippard by The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, and his deputy. Also present were the High Sheriff Chris Gebbie, Mayor of Eastbourne Janet Coles, Steven Lloyd MP, Chief of Police Steve Biglands, members of Beachy Head Coastguards and members of the Coroner’s Office.
Director of the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, Mark Pybus, said, “It gives me huge pleasure to be director of BHCT at a time when our wonderful volunteers, past and present, are honoured by this award, especially when you consider that we have never courted or set out to receive awards.
“The only reward that the team have ever looked for is that of being able to help those in need and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in so doing.
“The team, I am sure, would wish me to reflect the glory to where it truly belongs, and that is to the Lord Jesus Christ for choosing to work through us.
“I think that it is true to say that every session over the last 10 years has started in prayer, that the Lord would put us in the right place at the right time with the right words.
“And every time when we have interceded, it has been His mercy and grace as answer to our prayers.
“I would also like to thank Ross Hardy for following his vision from the Lord Jesus to set up and establish this team and to every member who has been part of this team over the years for their selfless dedication because without all of you, no matter how small you may think your contribution was, we would not be here to receive this award and recognition today.”
The BHCT issued an appeal for funding earlier this year in a bid to help them continue the life-saving work volunteers carry out at the natural beauty spot. It resulted in a significant increase in donations that has secured the charity’s short-term future, at least. The BHCT has been running for more then 10 years and in that time, has been called to more than 6,500 incidents. Visit www.bhct.org.uk.