CHUMS wins top royal award

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis with CHUMS volunteers Annette Cooper and Teresa Bunyan.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis with CHUMS volunteers Annette Cooper and Teresa Bunyan.

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CHUMS has received the highest accolade given to local volunteer groups – The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, writes Bev Creagh.

It was presented by Bedfordshire Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at the social enterprise’s annual open evening.

She described CHUMS as an “outstanding organisation which is changing the lives of young people and their families.”

She said: “The volunteers who work alongside multi-disciplinary teams are dedicated, talented and compassionate and it is wonderful they have received this highest award.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to present it on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.”

CEO Dawn Hewitt added: “We are always so proud of and grateful to our volunteers and are thrilled to see their hard work recognised nationally.”

CHUMS offers support across bereavement, trauma, crisis response, stillbirth and neonatal bereavement as well as a very broad range of emotional and wellbeing needs and for young carers.

It is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award, created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

CHUMS head of service Amanda Cullens and volunteer Teresa Bunyan attended a Buckingham Palace garden party last month where they met the monarch and other winners of this year’s award.

Former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis, committee chair of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, said: “The thousands of volunteers who give up their spare time to help others demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”

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