Nine voluntary groups from across the county 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.

Of the nine groups, we are especially delighted to congratulate two Chelmsford CVS members:

· Essex Search and Rescue – 74 highly trained volunteers who respond to calls from the police to search for vulnerable missing persons 365 days a year.

· Hearing Help Essex – alleviates isolation and loneliness for thousands of people who suffer hearing loss across the county.

They are amongst 281 charities, social enterprises, and 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.

Helena Goodwin, Vice Chairman, Essex Search and Rescue, said:

“Essex Search and Rescue are extremely proud and honoured to receive recognition by receiving The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. We are professionally trained volunteers responding 24/7 to help the police search for high risk vulnerable missing people, predominantly in Essex”.

Sophie Biebuyck, Chief Executive Officer, Hearing Help Essex, said:

“We are immensely proud to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in recognition of the hard work of our volunteers and staff, without whom we simply could not provide the range of services for those living with or affected by hearing loss. To see the life changing work our charity provides has been given national recognition is a tremendous honour”.

Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said:

“I am delighted that nine extremely deserving groups, who are providing a wide range of services to our communities have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen. I look forward to presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to each of the groups over the coming months and to be able to celebrate their success with their volunteers and many who receive their excellent service”.

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