Surrey volunteer groups honoured with Queen's Award

PUBLISHED: 19:07 02 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:29 20 February 2013

Painshill Park Trust volunteers (Photo: Theo Wood)

Painshill Park Trust volunteers (Photo: Theo Wood)

Seven volunteer organisations in Surrey have been awarded the group equivalent of the MBE for their work in the local community.

Seven volunteer organisations in Surrey have been awarded the group equivalent of the MBE by the Queenfor their work in the local community.

CHASE (recently merged as Shooting Star CHASE), Effingham and District community first responders, Oxted & District LINK, Painshill Park Trust (pictured), the stewards of the Surrey County Show, Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care and the cast of the Wintershall Estate plays all received the Queens Award.

This is wonderful news for Surrey volunteers on whom we rely for so much good work in the county, said Sarah Goad, the Queens representative as Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey.

I only wish all of our groups nominated this year could have been successful but at least we have the most winners of any county in the UK, jointly with Berkshire.

Introduced in 2002, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, the award recognises outstanding voluntary contributions and the winners were selected from 413 groups nominated by members of the public.

The Painshill Park Trust, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year,was nominated by the prominent arts philanthropist and former chair of the National Gallery, Lord Rothschild.

No group can be more deserving of such an accolade," he said."During the past 30 years that this magnificent Georgian landscape has undergone its quite extraordinary restoration programme, it is these volunteers who have ensured that both the landscape and follies have been transformed and seen by ten of thousands of people each year.

It was a year of firsts, as CHASE became the first children's hospice service to be honoured in this way.

We are delighted to receive this prestigious award," saidBridget Turner, director of care at Shooting Star CHASE. "Our volunteers continue to amaze us with their commitment to supporting our vital care services and ensuring fundraising is sustained.

The Effingham & District community first responders, meanwhile,received the award for their operation, run by Surrey St John Ambulance and founded in 2006,which sees skilled first aiders dispatched to 999 calls.

Such is the speed with whichresponders can react that,working in partnership with the NHS, they often arrive and begin first aid while the ambulance is still on route.

St John Ambulance believes everyone should have the first aid skills to be the difference between a life lost and saved, says scheme co-ordinator, Craig Chitty. Volunteering as a community first responder enables people to be that difference in their own community.

Thirty groups fromSurreyhave now received this annual award since it was created and representatives from the latestseven have received invitations to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palacethis summer.

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