Volunteers proud to win Queen’s Award for community work
- Credit: Abbey Community Centre
Kilburn Good Neighbours, the befriending scheme for the over-60s, has won the 2018 Queen’s Award for voluntary service.
It is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service in the community.
More than 30 volunteers support some 140 elderly people by popping in for a cup of tea, running errands or doing small jobs around the house.
The scheme is run out of the Abbey Community Centre in Kilburn. Gavin Harper, community projects organiser, said: “We’re all so proud that we’ve been acknowledged. There’s a big problem with isolation, not just in Kilburn but in all of London.
“We want to let people know that it’s okay to know your neighbour, despite the age gap. If every other person in Kilburn could volunteer for just an hour every week, then that would be amazing.”
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John Rantell, who has been a “befriender” with the scheme for five years, said: “The award is brilliant, it’s recognition of the all the work that’s being done.
“There are a lot of people who really struggle to cope on their own and the Abbey Community Centre is such a big help.”
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The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a national honour created by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002. It recognises the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers.
This year there were 250 winners from across the UK. Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “Everyone who has received this award should be incredibly proud. Their service, commitment and care have a profoundly positive impact on communities throughout the country and I am delighted they have been recognised with this prestigious award.”