This award is a unique UK national honour created by Her Majesty the Queen to recognise the outstanding contributions that groups of volunteers make to local communities and is the highest award a group can receive. The number of award nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them and Autism Bedfordshire was nominated by volunteers from our charity shop in Dunstable.
Emma Reade, the charity’s CEO said:
“We are thrilled that our dedicated volunteers have been recognised with this prestigious award. Last year 235 volunteers gave nearly 30,000 hours of their time, using their passion and specialist expertise to enrich the lives directly of 400 children, 150 adults and a further 1,000 across remote services”.
Lainey Montgomery, Chair of Autism Bedfordshire added:
“We are so honoured to be awarded. My fellow volunteers are truly amazing and make this charity what it is by supporting and empowering autistic people across Bedfordshire to have better lives, better futures. We are eternally grateful and overjoyed to celebrate this achievement”
As Autism Bedfordshire heads towards celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, our volunteers continue to lead and contribute across all services from the trustee board setting the vision and direction, autistic adults co-delivering training, two charity shops; a suite of children and family clubs including our double awarded Ofsted Outstanding summer schemes and adult social clubs, accredited skills courses, employment support and wellbeing groups.
Volunteer Kia explained why she volunteered for us:
“Autism Beds is like my second family. The parents, children and co-workers are so friendly. I started volunteering with them to help others, gain experience and make a difference in other people’s lives, as well as gaining knowledge of autism and building my confidence.”
We are excited to be receiving the award later in the year from Helen Nellis, Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and in May 2021 two volunteers from Autism Bedfordshire will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, along with other recipients of this year’s award.
Find out more about the award here.