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The Ark Trust CIO receives The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2nd June 2022

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Ark a charity based in Bracknell Forest have just been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

When the nation went into lockdown, many people were shielding and had no way of getting essentials such as groceries or medicines. The Ark volunteers stepped up and gave their time to help others.

During the pandemic, around 800 community response volunteers gave up over 32,000 hours to help others within the Bracknell Forest community, providing over 16,000 essential tasks, including delivering shopping, walking dogs and over 4,000 pharmacy deliveries, enabling those who needed to, to stay safe within their homes.

The Ark, and its volunteers, also provided invaluable information to the borough’s residents including access to health and social care services, food banks, shielding and self-isolation guidance. Often too they simply offered just a friendly face and a socially distanced chat to bring a moment of normality into someone’s life during a very difficult and testing time.

The volunteers also provided support to residents with disabilities, through a secure online group, helping to provide daily quizzes, tasks, online drama and singing activities as well as group video calls. Volunteers also helped the organisation keep in telephone contact with over 600 family carers.

The volunteers also played a crucial role during surge testing in June 2021, delivering leaflets, manning the test sites and helping residents with their queries. They have also been wearing their high vis waistcoats and providing assistance at the Waitrose vaccination site, guiding the public and making sure the correct cleaning measures were adhered to and assisting in the smooth running of the site.

Time Given

32,000 hours

Essential Tasks

16,000 tasks

Pharmacy

4,000 deliveries
The Ark is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Their work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways in which fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their 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.

Representatives of The Ark will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, later this summer. In addition, two volunteers from The Ark Trust will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award. 
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