Sussex voluntary groups get royal seal of approval with Queen’s Award accolade

Four voluntary organisations in West Sussex have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Susan Pyper
Susan Pyper

The successful groups are the Fernhurst Centre, Henfield Haven CIO, Sussex Army Cadet Force, and Turning Tides.

Representatives from the successful groups will attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in 2021 and later this year the groups will receive their awards 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.”

From its beginning in 2003 as an internet café the Fernhurst Centre has developed into a learning centre, coffee shop, book swap and meeting place open six days a week for the benefit of all ages in the community of Fernhurst.

It now offers courses including computing and technology, languages, genealogy and -bay use.

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.

Sussex Army Cadet Force is a first-class youth organisation providing unique opportunities for young people to develop themselves through challenging, well-organised training and life-skills activities.

It is led by highly dedicated volunteers who deliver this for the wide demographic of the whole West and East Sussex communities.

Turning Tides is a charity that supports people who are homeless to regain independence. Working across Worthing, Littlehampton, Horsham and East Grinstead their services range from drop-in centres to rehabilitation and longer term accommodation projects.

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.

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

The winners are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.