Hundreds of volunteers and carers attended a special garden party at the Alnwick Garden, that was laid on to thank them for their hard work, dedication and commitment.
The event was hosted by The Duchess, in her role as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, to recognize the valuable contribution that volunteers and carers make to the local community and loved ones.
Three hundred volunteers and carers from across the county were invited to attend with their partners or a guest. Now in its fourth year, the event is thought to be the biggest of its kind in the region.
Fittingly, the event took place during National Carers Week 2017 (12 – 18 June) which aims to raise awareness of the UK's 6 million unpaid carers, as well as celebrating the incredible contribution they make.
Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland said: “There are so many extremely generous and extraordinary individuals in Northumberland who give up their time, selflessly, to help others in need. I hear so many moving stories of the things people do, for the benefit of others less fortunate, some working for charities, many just doing their own thing, frequently unnoticed, giving help where it is needed most. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to them for the really valuable work they do.
“The Garden Party has been sponsored through generous donations from businesses based in the North East who want to join me in thanking our volunteers and carers and I, in turn, would like to thank all the donors who enable The Garden Party to take place.”
This Garden Party could not take place without the significant support of a number of sponsors; Greggs will supply the food and Ramside the catering equipment and staff. Other sponsors include: The MGL Group, Pimms, Fentimans Ltd. The Barbour Foundation, The Banks Group, Dandy Events, Newcastle, Jo Malone, The Chocolate Smiths, Wyevale Garden Centres, Ringtons, Potts Print (UK) Ltd, Sir Robert McAlpine, Sodexo, The W A Handley Trust, Isos Housing, Ward Hadaway Solicitors.
Gillian Reader, Director, The MGL Group said:
The MGL Group is delighted to support the Lord Lieutenant's Garden Party to highlight and recognise the tremendous work carried out selflessly by volunteers and carers throughout Northumberland'.
Steph Fairless, Marketing Executive, Fentimans said:
“We are delighted to support the Lord Lieutenant’s Garden Party. I admire the work that they do, generously dedicating their time to help others and the local community. It truly is inspirational.”
During the afternoon, The Duchess presented, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) to three voluntary organisations: Glendale Agricultural Society, Northumbria Blood Bikes and Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop.
The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities. Information about the award can be found at www.qavs.direct.gov.uk/ Nominations forms are available to download together with guidance on how to apply. This process is not overly complicated and community groups in Northumberland are urged to consider applying.