Image demonstrating Queen’s Award for Bell View in Belford

Queen’s Award for Bell View in Belford

Bell View Resource Centre in Belford  has been awarded a prestigious award for voluntary service.

Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland in her capacity as Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the organisation which was accepted by Christine Harris (Chairperson) and volunteers  at a special ceremony at The Alnwick Garden.

This is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, and is equivalent to the MBE, with Bell View being the only organisation in Northumberland to receive this in 2019!

Bell View Resource Centre is a charity operating in Belford with the aim of supporting and enabling older people in north Northumberland to live independently in their own homes, but equally offering numerous activities at the centre which help to promote mental and physical well-being.
It has been operating for 20 years with the help of 50 dedicated volunteers who turn their had to  everything from driving, fundraising, gardening and administration.

The centre has been described as ‘the beating heart of the local community’ with over 650 individuals  spanning a large area from Berwick down to Wooler and across to Seahouses benefiting from its numerous services and activities over the past year.
These include luncheon clubs, meals, shopping trips, singing,  day care, an older persons gym, community transport and digital and camera clubs.

Paul Harrison, Operations Manager at Bell View has been involved in the centre for twelve years. He said:

“ Bell View would be unable to operate without the valuable dedication and input from volunteers, not only making positive and rewarding changes to their own lives but giving something back to their local community. Bell View has been a ground breaking project which has built up an outstanding reputation across Northumberland for providing high quality services and activities which address health, wellbeing and  social and rural isolation.This amazing accolade pays tribute to the exceptional hard work and commitment shown by all volunteers and staff of the whole organisation since the inception of Bell View in 1998, paying particular tribute to the late Christopher Leyland and former trustees, for their amazing efforts and persistence, in turning the vision into a reality!”

Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland said:

“Bell View is a wonderful and inspiring resource that is highly valued by the community of Belford and the surrounding rural areas. The services available are so varied and so valued. It provides so much for so many, and only because of its many volunteers.
“  I’m incredibly proud to present this Queen’s Commendation for voluntary service   to the centre on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. The award gives national recognition of extraordinary  acts of voluntary service and is only given out in exceptional circumstances. This commendation is so very well deserved. ”

Representatives from Bell View were also honoured to be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

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