The Kirkwood Volunteers receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Kirkwood Volunteers – Jillian and Sharon

Hardworking volunteers who devote their time to help The Kirkwood ‘Support Life’ across Kirklees have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.  

The Kirkwood has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of their outstanding contribution to helping local people affected by life-limiting illnesses across Kirklees.  

The Kirkwood’s diverse volunteer workforce of over 800 members help the charity in every area of their work, from raising funds to supporting those in our care to offering a listening ear to patients and families in need.  

The Kirkwood is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations for the award is high each year, so to be recognised in this way is a real feather in the cap for the dedicated volunteers of The Kirkwood. 

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.  

Volunteer gardeners at The Kirkwood

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. Alongside The Kirkwood Volunteers, they include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group for those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire and a mountain rescue team in Powys.  

Representatives of The Kirkwood will receive the award crystal and certificate from Ed Anderson, Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire later this summer. Two volunteers from The Kirkwood will also be invited to attend a special garden party at Buckingham Palace next Spring, alongside other worthy recipients of this year’s Award.  

John Johnson, Volunteer Services Manager with The Kirkwood is delighted that the tireless dedication of The Kirkwood Volunteers has been recognised, especially at such a challenging time. 

John said: “Today’s announcement is absolutely fantastic news. I can’t begin to say how pleased I am for all of our volunteers. 

“The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services is the most prestigious award for volunteer groups in the country. It’s actually the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.  It’s not an award that’s given lightly. It’s only given to groups that are seen to be making big contributions to the local community.  

“Our volunteers play a very important role in helping The Kirkwood Support Life across Kirklees. Quite simply, without their dedication and unwavering support, we couldn’t continue to help those in our care to make the most of every single day. 

“It reflects so well on every aspect of how our volunteers support The Kirkwood to deliver the care that’s needed by those affected by any life-limiting illness here in Kirklees. Not only that, but it recognises the important role of every single volunteer; from our befrienders to our shop volunteers; from our gardeners to our support vehicle drivers and from our receptionists to our hardworking ambassadors and community support groups in every corner of our community.”

John is full of praise for the way volunteers continue to support The Kirkwood despite the ongoing coronavirus. 

John said: “It’s been really difficult for our volunteers over the past year, with many not able to help in the usual way. Many volunteers were asked to stand down during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, with some only just able to return. Others continue to wait patiently until we can welcome them back again. Whether they have continued to be able to volunteer, have been shielding or simply haven’t had an opportunity to help over the past months, every single one of our volunteers continue to champion our work and are keen to help out once more.  

Volunteers at the Midnight Memory Walk

“It just goes to show that The Kirkwood is so much more than a building, or a place of care. Together, alongside our amazing volunteers, we are a movement, made up of people who believe everyone deserves to receive the best care as they approach the end of life, and who are determined to make sure that becomes a reality.” 

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with The Kirkwood and the roles available visit: www.thekirkwood.org.uk or get in touch at: volunteer@thekirkwood.org.uk 

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