Reading Family Aid are thrilled to have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The Charity began operating in the 1950s and became a registered charity in 1993. In the 1950s, we were helping a handful of families and the first outing recorded cost just £10. More recently, we have been helping up to 1000 families each year and, despite the challenges of 2020, we were still able to provide over 1400 children with gifts at Christmas with our generous supporters helping us raise over £33,000.
Reading Family Aid is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of 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.
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. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group for those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Representatives of Reading Family Aid will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mr James Puxley, Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time).
Ruth Perkins, Chair says: “When we heard that we were to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service we were so excited, astonished and humbled. It was a huge honour to be nominated for it but to actually receive it is overwhelming. I'd like to thank Cllr Paul Woodward, Reading's Mayor at the time, for nominating us as well as Homestart Reading for supporting his nomination.
It is fantastic that the work that the charity has been doing in the Reading area for so many years has been so publicly recognised in this way. It is thanks to all those who work tirelessly on the RFA Committee but also to all those hundreds of volunteers who have come year after year to help with the Toys and Teens Appeal, to all those who have organised toy collections, raised funds and helped in a myriad of other ways.
This award is for all of you. Every one of you has helped to put so many smiles on so many children's faces and each of you deserves this recognition. Brilliant!”
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