Double Platinum Jubilee royal honour for Eastbourne community group

Eastbourne based group Volunteers Network has been doubly honoured in the Queens’ Jubilee Honours on June 2.
Helen Burton and Peter FinnisHelen Burton and Peter Finnis
Helen Burton and Peter Finnis

The community interest company has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and equivalent to an MBE.

Helen Burton, the founder and CEO of Volunteers Network and also a serving Eastbourne borough councillor, has also been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community, particularly during Covid-19.

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Volunteers Network manages Pevensey Community Library, Langney Community Centre, Grow Eastbourne (food growing and sharing), Langney Community Cafe and the Langney Larder, Eastbourne’s first community fridge.

Helen Burton and Peppa Pig at Langney Community LarderHelen Burton and Peppa Pig at Langney Community Larder
Helen Burton and Peppa Pig at Langney Community Larder

During the first lockdown Helen was amongst the first in the country to establish a telephone befriending service responding to the pandemic and reducing isolation for some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

Her work was mentioned in much of the national press and inspired many other services to form.

Helen said: “The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is testament to the hard work undertaken by my two co-directors Daniel Brookbank and Peter Finnis and all of the volunteers who have ever supported us.”

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