Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) has been named recipient of the nation’s highest possible voluntary honour by Her Majesty The Queen.
WiSE is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service- and one of just a handful of organisations locally to have ever picked up the accolade, which is equivalent to an MBE.
Charity bosses say the prestigious, royal award is a fitting reward for its 130 volunteers who’ve worked so hard to help isolated, older people across the district- both during the pandemic and beyond.
Chief operating officer Mark Dobson said: “Everyone at the charity is absolutely thrilled to receive such a prestigious award. The fact the news coincides with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations makes it feel even more special.
“This national honour is the greatest recognition a charity like ours can ever receive and represents deserved appreciation for the efforts of our incredible volunteers over many years. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our work- generously giving their time and energy to help older people in Wetherby and its surrounding villages live healthy, fulfilling lives.”
The Queen’s Award is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
Any group doing volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. The groups are then assessed on the benefit they bring to the local community and its standing within that community.
Winners get a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal which will be presented by the Lord Lieutenant Ed Anderson at a special ceremony later this year.
WiSE offers advice and information, activities, transport, befriending and a myriad of other services- almost all of which are supported by volunteers in some way.
During the pandemic, volunteers ensured that people of all ages never went without prescriptions, medicine, food or shopping.
With the charity restoring core services as pandemic protections have eased, volunteers have again stepped in- contributing hundreds of hours of their time to support events and activities across its catchment area.
If you think you can help WiSE and would like to find out more about volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01937 588994.