Thornbury charity's 'outstanding' work is recognised by Queen
A THORNBURY-based charity is celebrating after being awarded the highest accolade given to volunteer groups across the UK.
Brain Tumour Support helps thousands of brain tumour patients and their families across the country.
It is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which recognises outstanding work in communities.
Charity chief executive Tina Mitchell Skinner, below, founded the charity 16 years ago after losing her husband to a brain tumour.
She said: “We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing team of volunteers. They give up their time and skills so generously and with such commitment to help out in the office, at support groups and at fundraising events.
“We always knew that they were outstanding, but this is external recognition at the highest level. It really does indicate the huge contribution they make to enable us to support brain tumour patients and their families.”
Later this summer representatives of Brain Tumour Support will receive the award officially from the Queen's representative, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Edward Gillespie.
Two of the charity’s longest-serving volunteers, John Stuart and Kieran Widdowson, attended a royal garden party last month as part of its recognition by the Queen.
Volunteer Sue Swift, from Bristol, said: “I started volunteering for Brain Tumour Support after the charity supported me and my family following my meningioma diagnosis. After several operations I am now partially sighted.
“Volunteering is uplifting and keeps me positive. I love raising awareness and sharing all the lessons I have learned on my brain tumour journey. I hope it makes a difference to others with brain tumours.”
Created in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, the recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service are announced every year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
The awards’ independent committee chair, Sir Martyn Lewis, said: “The record number of nominations for this year’s Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service proves that volunteering at a grass roots level continues to thrive. This year it is a real pleasure to congratulate 281 winners – all with strong reputations for successfully tackling a wide variety of issues and problems in their communities.
“We know there are thousands more local organisations doing great work, and I would strongly encourage those people who have seen them in action or benefited from their activities to consider nominating them for next year’s awards.”
Minister for Civil Society and Sport Mims Davies said: “Volunteers make an incredible difference to so many people’s lives and their communities. These prestigious awards recognise the wonderful work being done by many voluntary organisations across the country. I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to all the worthy winners for their continued hard work and dedication.”
Main picture: Staff at Brain Tumour Support celebrate after receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.