Thurrock recognised by Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services

Published: 12 June 2018

One Community Development Trust, Tilbury;Thurrock Mind; and Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders have been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services for 2018.

Three voluntary groups from Thurrock who work in the community have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK

The three groups are:

· One Community Development Trust, Tilbury

· Thurrock Mind

· Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders

The groups from Thurrock are just three of 250 volunteer-led groups to receive the prestigious award this year across the UK. The number of awarded groups have increased again this year, demonstrating the continuous expansion and value of the voluntary sector in today’s society.

This award is given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities. The recipients of the award are announced each year on 2 June - the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

This year’s awardees are incredibly diverse, innovative and impactful, ranging from FISH Neighbourhood Care, an organisation committed to combating loneliness and social isolation in older and vulnerable people living in Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen in Greater London to The Monday Night Club, providing social opportunities and sporting activities for adults with learning disabilities and autism in Worcestershire.

One Community Development Trust, Thurrock Mind, and the Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders, will receive the Award from Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, later this summer.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:

“Everyone who has received this award should be incredibly proud. Their service, commitment and care has a profoundly positive impact on communities throughout the country and I am delighted they have been recognised with this prestigious award.

“The record number of recipients this year is testament to the strength of the voluntary sector and I am sure this trend will continue into the future. If you know any organisations that deserve to be recognised, make your voice heard and nominate them for next year.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said:

"This year’s record number of Queen’s Award awardees are a powerful testimony to the remarkable achievements and innovative ideas which characterise volunteering in the UK. They prove that, more than ever, volunteers beavering away at grassroots level are the active lifeblood of our communities, identifying all kinds of problems and issues and tackling them with enthusiasm, talent and a high degree of success.

“The recipients of the Queen’s Award are at the very top of a formidable volunteering movement in the UK involving millions of our citizens, and going from strength to strength.”

One Community Development Trust, Tilbury

Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said:

“One Community Development Trust provide a wide range of services to over 600 local residents who make in excess of 5,000 visits each year to their community facility. They help change lives by providing support to help people build confidence to become self-sufficient for the future. The help provided ranges from resolving housing issues, providing IT skills, preparing people for interviews to get paid work, benefits advice, coaching and mentoring, overcoming language barriers, advice and support for domestic violence, providing food and toiletries and meeting ‘any other needs that are presented’ that would support independent living. All of the programmes are volunteer led and an average of 22 trained volunteers and 6 volunteer Trustees are responsible for running the One Community. Many who have received support later return as peer mentors to support other volunteers; this process is facilitated by their unique and inspired Volunteer Investment Programme (VIP) which enables volunteers to gain job ready skills and confidence. This is an exceptional Group doing exceptional work – One Community Development Trust are worthy winners of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services”.

Samantha Day, a Trustee for One Community Development Trust said:

“As a trustee, volunteer and beneficiary, who is born and bred in Tilbury, we are thrilled to be acknowledged to receive the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Services. This gives us recognition and credibility which will increase our profile and reputation to work in partnership with corporate businesses on our doorstep, as well as other charitable trusts and Foundations. We would like to thank and appreciate all our volunteers for their passion and dedication over the years in supporting the community to become a place to be proud to live and work”.

Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders Group

Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said:

“The Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders Group have been in existence for 10 years. They provide a 24 hour, 7 days a week, volunteer rota to respond to Category A life-threatening medical emergencies, through 999 calls to the East of England Ambulance Service. They are inspirational, passionate and enthusiastic about their work and there is a strong togetherness in the team. The assessors felt this was an outstanding Group providing an outstanding service to the community. I am delighted to see such an outstanding Group, who are providing such a critical public service, receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services”.

Susan Wilsdon, Group Co-ordinator for the Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders Group said:

“The Stanford/Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responder group are extremely proud to have been awarded “The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service”. This prestigious honour is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK, and represents recognition of the hard work, support and hours of dedication the group have given to their community in helping save lives.

As Community First Responders we are volunteers who are trained by the East of England Ambulance Service to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives. Our role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.

During the last year the group provided 3,233 voluntary hours and attended 560 emergency calls. However, in addition to these hours the group have also dedicate many voluntary hours teaching Lifesaving skills to the community on behalf of the Ambulance Service and The British Heart Foundation.

Hopefully, receiving this award will inspire other members of our community to become Community First Responders or get involved in voluntary work”.

Thurrock Mind

Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said:

“The 200 volunteers of Thurrock Mind work in a very important area and help Thurrock Mind to support people with mental health problems by providing a range of services together with information and advice on mental health problems. Thurrock Mind work with Thurrock Council, Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS providers and other local voluntary, community and faith groups.

These volunteers are at the heart of Thurrock Mind and give their time to work a range of hours including evenings and weekends. The services provided by Thurrock Mind range from counselling, advocacy, group work, wellbeing activities, the provision of a ‘quiet room’, a charity shop, links with the local college to provide NVQ qualifications to those being supported, gardening projects, Recovery College, peer mentoring, and support, information and advice for Family Carers. Thurrock Mind work in an area where their services are desperately needed. It is fitting that Thurrock Mind have received the highest award given to voluntary groups, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services”.

David Noble, Chairman of Thurrock Mind, said:

“The staff and volunteers of Thurrock Mind are extremely proud and honoured to have been awarded this prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in recognition for their work over many years.

Every year we support over 5000 people with mental health problems in the local area and our volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. Our reputation within Thurrock is highly valued and regarded, and we are so thrilled with this award which recognises our hard work in the community.

As a local charity we rely upon our ability to provide the best possible services for local people with, or likely to develop, mental health problems. The commitment and determination shown by our volunteers enables us to reach and support more people experiencing mental health challenges to improve their quality of life.”