This year, we were delighted to have been presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. Representatives of the Friends of Chichester Hospitals gathered at the Assembly Rooms in Chichester in September to receive the award from Mrs Susan Pyper, Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex.
All Friends shop profits are used to enhance or develop the hospital’s services to patients. Further income from fundraising events, donations and legacies enables the Friends to give significant financial support each year to provide vital medical equipment and amenities The Friends also support the Chichester Centre and Harold Kidd Unit (mental health services) by providing therapeutic and exercise equipment.
The Friends of Chichester Hospitals is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Comments from our Chairman, Jane Ramage:
“We are delighted that the work of Friends’ volunteers has been recognised by this prestigious award – the ultimate award for voluntary groups. It is a tremendous honour, and we are proud of our team members and the work they do to serve others. Our volunteers give thousands of hours of time each year to support our hospitals, especially St Richard’s. It shows incredible commitment to a vital part of our community and really does make a difference each day for patients, visitors and staff. We are thrilled that their dedication and hard work has been acknowledged with the Queen’s Award”.