Willowbrook Hospice has been honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The award celebrates the contribution of the 560 volunteers who work tirelessly across all the services within the hospice, from administration and maintenance to driving, working in the hospice charity shops, fundraising and gardening - all of which help Willowbrook to continue to provide specialist care for people with life limiting illnesses who live in St Helens and Knowsley.
Ian Turnbull, Willowbrook Volunteer and HR Co-ordinator and Jan Cunningham, who volunteers at the hospice’s day therapy centre, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 28 May where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award.
Willowbrook Hospice is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards handed out to groups have increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year range from Ablaze, a charity helping to raise academic achievement amongst disadvantaged young people in Bristol to a volunteer rescue boat service on Loch Lomond.
The hospice will receive the award from Dame Lorna Muirhead, the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside and patron of Willowbrook, later this summer.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said:
“I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the best of democracy in action.”
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said:
“I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements.The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that
we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”
Neil Wright, Chief Executive of Willowbrook said: “We’re extremely proud of all our volunteers and this Award from Her Majesty the Queen is well deserved. We recognise that we couldn’t continue to do what we do at Willowbrook without the contribution of our volunteers and I’d like encourage anyone in the local area to volunteer for us…even if it’s just for a few hours.”
To find out more about the range of voluntary opportunities at Willowbrook, contact Ian Turnbull on 0151 430 8736