Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
11:33 AM 14th November 2023

Volunteer Groups In North Yorkshire Honoured For Community Work By The King

The wide range of volunteering work in North Yorkshire has been recognised by the King in the highest award that can be given to the sector in the UK.

The Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner,
The Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner,
Groups involved in providing food and clothing to those most in need, opening up the benefits of performing live music and supporting young people and vulnerable families have all been recognised in the King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS).

Other organisations involved in providing counselling to women, protecting sealife and the coast and supporting people who have lost their sight have also been honoured in the North Yorkshire area.

A total of six groups have been recognised in this year’s KAVS, which is the highest award that can be given to local volunteer groups in the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner, is the King’s representative in the county and paid tribute to the work of the voluntary sector.

She said:
“We know what a vital role that community and voluntary organisations play not just here in North Yorkshire, but across the whole of the country, too.

“In North Yorkshire, there are some very specific needs and challenges that are faced with such a vast geographical area encompassing some extremely rural communities.

“But advice, support and services are proving invaluable to communities through not just the efforts of the six organisations that have been honoured, but so many other voluntary groups as well.

“I would, however, like to pay tribute to those organisations that have been recognised, and to thank them for all the hard work and dedication they have given to our local communities.”

The six organisations in Mrs Ropner’s area which have been given the award are:

The Genesis Project: A community support network which provides food, clothing, companionship and support across all ages.

York Women's Counselling Service: The service provides professional counselling to women experiencing psychological distress regardless of their ability to pay.

Coastwatch Redcar: A group helping to protect and preserve sealife and on the foreshore.

Vision Support in the Harrogate district: A voluntary organisation providing emotional and practical support and activities for local people who have lost or are losing their sight.

Swinton and District Excelsior Band: A group of volunteers bringing musicians and the community together through live music.

Gallows Close Centre: Volunteers who are building a safer community for young people and vulnerable families in Scarborough.

The award was created in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Queen’s Coronation.

Previously named The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the King has indicated his desire to continue the award following his accession to the throne after his mother’s death in September last year. The award is the MBE for volunteer groups and is awarded to organisations for life.

Groups who have been honoured receive a crystal award and a certificate bearing The King’s signature - both presented by the local Lord-Lieutenant. They gain the right to use the KAVS emblem, subject to certain guidelines. They are also invited to nominate two volunteers to attend a Royal Garden Party the following year.