Henfield Haven CIO honoured with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

An army of volunteers in Henfield have been recognised with the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Henfield Haven CIO has received a Queen's Award. Picture: BN5 Magazine SUS-200106-154034001Henfield Haven CIO has received a Queen's Award. Picture: BN5 Magazine SUS-200106-154034001
Henfield Haven CIO has received a Queen's Award. Picture: BN5 Magazine SUS-200106-154034001

It was announced yesterday that Henfield Haven CIO is among four groups in West Sussex to be honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Two volunteers from Henfield Haven CIO will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2021 alongside representatives from thethree other West Sussex organisations who have received the accolade – Sussex Army Cadet Force, Turning Tides and the Fernhurst Centre.

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Lady Emma Barnard, a Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex who visited the Henfield Haven recently, said: “Henfield Haven is an inspiring example of local people coming together with dedication, determination and joy, to create an organisation which truly matters within their community.

“I couldn’t be more delighted that they have been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is so well deserved. Long may they continue!”

Henfield Haven CIO is a charitable organisation led by and dependent upon volunteers that provides dementia care and a wide range of other well-being services to help relieve those in need, whether by reason of age, ill-health, disability or other disadvantage living in Henfield and its surrounding communities.

The volunteers came together when West Sussex County Council considered closing what was then the Henfield Day Care Centre as a cost-cutting measure.

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They worked with the council to come up with a solution, and the tired and unloved building was saved, restored and transformed into to what it is today to allow the volunteers to provide much-needed services for many vulnerable and isolated people in the community.

Digby Stephenson, chairman of Henfield Haven CIO, said: “The announcement of our QAVS reflects a fully deserved reward for the army of volunteers who have helped to achieve a truly amazing transformation.

“From a real threat of closure in 2014 the Haven has become a vital core of the Henfield community, providing a broad range of services to help local people live life to the full, particularly those living with dementia.

“Currently closed to customers, The Henfield Haven answered a call to arms during the Covid-19 pandemic and is earning its spurs as the operations and distribution base for the Henfield Helpline, which has again brought out the best in the Henfield community spirit and willingness to help in adversity.

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“I know that this ‘can do’ attitude and enthusiasm will be ready to resume and deliver the Haven’s vital work as soon as this becomes possible.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was introduced in 2002 and aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups that benefit their local communities.

230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups have received the Award this year.

The groups will receive their awards later this year from the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper, who makes the presentation on behalf of the Queen.

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Mrs Pyper commented: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to the four outstanding groups in the county that have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“During the assessments we were impressed by their commitment to making a positive difference to the lives of others in imaginative and creative ways.

“The Award is a tremendous accolade for their activities, and their success demonstrates just how important the work of volunteers is, particularly at this very challenging time, not just in West Sussex, but throughout the country.

“I sincerely hope that their achievements will encourage other volunteer groups to consider putting themselves forward for nomination for this prestigious award.”


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