Volunteers from Barrow Foodbank were honoured today at a ceremony to present them with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensman, made the presentation, the Lord-Lieutenant is Her Majesty The Queens representative in Cumbria.
Volunteers from Barrow Foodbank and the two satellite branches at Millom and Ulverston received the award of a crystal dome and a letter from the Queen. The Lord-Lieutenant made the presentation and congratulated the team of dedicated volunteers, adding that they were doing ‘something exceptional, turning people’s lives around and making a real difference to individuals in the community’ and urged the team to ‘keep up the good work’.
Ann Mills, Project Manager at the foodbank commented, ‘This honour recognises the hard work done by all our volunteers in Barrow, Millom and Ulverston since we opened in 2012. Our 124 volunteers fill a number of roles to ensure the foodbank runs efficiently while ensuring clients are made to feel welcome and given nutritiously balanced food. None of this would be possible if it were not for the communities of South West Cumbria who continue to donate food so generously.
Rob Cairns, Deputy Lieutenant commented on why the volunteers had been awarded this honour, ‘The Foodbank team has fostered close relations with other agencies to enable people to be referred on and receive the support they need.’ Rob also remarked that Archbishop John Sentamu rated the Barrow Foodbank operation as the best he had ever visited.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. Any group carrying out voluntary work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community. This is a most prestigious award and is the equivalent of an MBE for individuals.
The presentation event was held at the Forum in Barrow was attended by volunteers, partner agencies and foodbank supporters including supermarket representatives and local Mayors.