TEN volunteer groups in Berkshire have been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which aims to recognise their outstanding work.

The award scheme was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

This Award, equivalent to an MBE, is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year include volunteer groups from across the UK.

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241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups will receive this prestigious Award this year and the County of Berkshire has received 10 winners.

Berkshire has received 84 winners since 2002.

Here is a list of the winners:

Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara (GMGG)

Providing hot meals and food parcels to people in need during the COVID pandemic.

Learning to work (Slough)

Preparing school children for the world of work through careers guidance, work experience and employer-led events and activities.

Listen to Us (Wokingham)

A small user led campaigning group which writes and delivers a range of training around disability awareness.

MIOD Corsham Military Co-Responders Team (Out of County but most work done within Berkshire)

Saving and enhancing lives in Berkshire as medical first responders ahead of the emergency services.

Slough Observer:

No5 Young People (Reading)

Providing confidential listening and counselling to support children, young people and those around them.

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Alyson Wylding, No5’s Director, said: “We are so honoured to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

"I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of our volunteer counsellors and Young Ambassadors has been recognised in this way.

"Their commitment to support local young people, especially during the extremely challenging circumstances we have all faced during the pandemic, has been astounding.

"Without them, we would not have been able to support thousands of young people in Reading over the last 50 years.”

Reading Family Aid Group (Reading)

Reading Family Aid Group put a smile on the faces of disadvantaged children in the Reading area.

Ruth Perkins, Chair, said: "When we heard that we were to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service we were so excited, astonished and humbled. 

"It was a huge honour to be nominated for it but to actually receive it is overwhelming. 

"I'd like to thank Cllr Paul Woodward, Reading's Mayor at the time, for nominating us as well as Homestart Reading for supporting his nomination."

Reading Rowing Club (Reading)

Promoting rowing as an enjoyable sport for all, offering valuable personal and community benefits.

Smart Works Reading (Reading)

Tackle poverty by helping disadvantaged women into employment with tailored interview coaching and professional clothing.

Sarah Burns MBE, Chair of Smart Works Reading, said: “We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing group of hard-working, professional and dedicated volunteers. They share their skills and expertise to help so many disadvantaged women into employment."

She added: “We are so proud of our volunteers, past and present. We know how hard they work and the impact they have. We are thrilled this award will help more people understand and appreciate the difference our volunteers make.”

The Link Foundation (Out of County but most work done within Berkshire)

Providing practical support to deprived children and families in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

The Link Visiting Scheme (Wokingham)

Offering local support for people suffering from loneliness and isolation.

It is intended for representatives of these groups to receive their award from Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, later this year.

Mr Puxley commented: “I am thrilled and delighted that this year 10 Berkshire charities have had their good work and the work of their volunteers recognised by being granted a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service."