By Rachael Grealish
Three Cumbrian social enterprises, voluntary groups and charities have received the highest award given to organisations delivering exceptional service within their communities.
Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA), REACT Foundation and Women’s Community Matters, in Barrow, have all been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Coinciding with Volunteers’ Week, June 1 to 7, the award celebrates the work of a fantastic, diverse range of volunteer groups whose work has enhanced and supported local communities over a number of years.
LDSAMRA chairman, Richard Warren, said: “This award is an incredible recognition of the huge amount of work and commitment put into mountain rescue by the current 400 volunteers within the 12 teams and by all members from our 70 years’ history.
“We are all truly humbled by the nomination and look forward to the recognition it brings. Thank you to everyone who has supported our teams over the years.”
The REACT Foundation was founded in 2004 with the aim of encouraging West Cumbrian students to attend university and study engineering related degrees, offering grants and support on the way.
Women’s Community Matters is a foundation based in Barrow which aims to help women aged 14 and over who may need support, be vulnerable or in crisis.
Women’s Community Matters Senior Officer, Rebecca Robson says: “We are really pleased that the work we do here at Women’s Community Matters in Barrow has been recognised, and I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and commitment of all of our volunteers, trustees, staff, friends, funders and supporters in the community without whom it wouldn’t be possible.”
Many of those honoured have adapted their services to respond to the coronavirus outbreak as the voluntary sector continues to play a vital role in the national effort.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said: “This year’s Queen’s Awards highlight the considerable achievements of groups of volunteers who have been making a real impact to the fabric of our country for many years – in some cases decades.
“Inspired by all that is best in the human spirit, they are made up of local people who have come together to address particular issues and problems facing their communities – often in new and imaginative ways.
“All of these award winners have demonstrated a long-term commitment to volunteering that gives real meaning to society, and which shows Britain at its best.
“Moreover, some of them have also managed to provide valuable support with the fight against Covid-19. We owe them our gratitude – and our congratulations.”
The recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service are announced every year on 2 June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
Any volunteer-led group comprising two or more people having a positive impact on the lives of others in an exceptional way can be nominated for an award.
A group must satisfy the eligibility requirements before the nomination can be processed through to the assessment stages of the award. More details can be found on the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service website.
Nominations for the 2021 awards close on 25 September 2020