[I]t has today been announced, Dalton Community Association Drill Hall, Manna House and the Volunteer Prescription Delivery Service have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK – the MBE for volunteer groups.
Dalton Community Association Drill Hall volunteers took ownership of the almost derelict 1930’s Drill Hall and turned it into a bright, warm, cheerful hub for the whole community. The building hosts over fifty user groups which cover the full age range: nursery, youth, educational support and activities for many minority interests. The centre provides a base for several public services which can no longer afford their own premises, thus preserving those services to the town.
Manna House was set up in 2003 and now has over 80 volunteers. They work for the benefit of the public in South Lakeland, providing advice, advocacy and a drop-in support centre for those who are homeless, vulnerably housed, lonely or needing help.
The Volunteer Prescription Delivery Service based around the Low Hesket, Carlisle area have a small number of dedicated volunteers who cover an area of 300 square miles in one of the most sparsely populated areas of England delivering prescriptions dispensed by their local GP practice to remote residents. Rural transport is poor or non-existent so the service is crucial.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is an annual award made to recognise and reward the most exceptional and innovative groups who provide voluntary led activities carried out by local groups in the community. It is a highly competitive and prestigious award where by only around 50% of the nominees go on to win.
The award was announced in 2002 as part of the celebrations for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and was first known as The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award.
Any group of 2 or more people doing outstanding volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK. The groups should also have been running for 3 years or more to be eligible.
To be nominated they should do work that:
provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
is run locally
Winners receive a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party.
For further details about the award and how to nominate visit – https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service/overview
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs. Claire Hensman said: “The Queens Awards for Voluntary Service is the highest accolade for any voluntary organisation. Here in Cumbria, the voluntary sector is thriving and I’d like to congratulate Dalton Community Association Drill Hall, Manna House and the Volunteer Prescription Delivery Service for their tireless work and commitment to the communities they serve.
“They are all thoroughly deserving of this 2018 award. There are many more voluntary groups across Cumbria doing excellent work and enhancing the lives and experiences of many people in their local communities.
“It has been such a privilege to be involved and to see the difference volunteering makes to so many people throughout our beautiful county. If you know of an exceptional voluntary group who meets the above criteria which stands out above them all then please nominate them by midnight on the 14 September 2018 for them to be considered for the 2019 Queens Award for Voluntary Service.”