Top royal award for volunteers

A VOLUNTARY group has won royal recognition for its outstanding work in the community.

Trimdon Station Residents’ Association is one of just 130 winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is described as an MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their community for the benefit of others.

The prestigious national honour, which recognises outstanding voluntary contributions and sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, will also see members of the group invited to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace.

The group was selected from 413 nominations by people who have been helped personally or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community.

The residents’ association will receive a certificate signed by the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal which will be presented by the High Sheriff of County Durham Paul Nicholson, the Queen’s representative in County Durham, at a special ceremony.

Christine Carter, from the residents’ association, said: “The members of the group are honoured to be recognised for the work they do in the community. They are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the award bestowed upon them.”

The award committee chairman, the former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis, said: “Volunteer groups make such an important contribution to their communities, often without praise for the incredible job they do.

“In these difficult times their efforts are even more valuable. It’s a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of Trimdon Station Residents’ Association with the award and give official recognition for the benefits they bring to others’ lives.”

More than 980 groups around the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man have now received the annual award since it was created by the Queen to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002.