Voluntary organisations receive prestigious King’s Award
08 Feb 2024
Three voluntary organisations in Northumberland have been awarded the prestigious King’s Award for their service to the community.
The worthy recipients are: The Northumberland Log Bank, Berwick Junior Youth Development Trust (Berwick Rangers Juniors) and Seaton Sluice Community Centre.
Created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognised outstanding work by volunteer groups. On accession to the throne King Charles iii has continued with the award which has been renamed The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The awards were presented by Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland, in her capacity as Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland.
The Northumberland Log Bank has been operating since June 2019. The Log Bank delivers wood fuel for free to those in financial difficulties, poor health, advanced age or living in rural isolation. A team of 20 dedicated volunteers work long hours in all weathers to collect the wood which is donated by individuals, farms and estates. It is taken to one of five log banks, processed into firewood and delivered to those in need. The volunteers also provide important social interaction with those receiving the logs.
The Berwick Junior Youth Development Trust provides football coaching, training and competitive matches and tours for school-aged children in and around Berwick. They also provide coaching and development opportunities for parents, carers and ex-junior players.
The group has been run entirely by volunteers for almost 50 years and is an unsung, but integral part of the local community. There are currently around 35 regular volunteers who run all training and match-day activities. From washing strips to painting lines on a pitch and from coaching a team to collecting subscriptions, all the jobs are carried out by dedicated volunteers.
The group provides a vital sense of direction, discipline, fun and purpose for the children it works with, as well as keeping them fit and healthy.
The committee members are also kept very busy liaising with leagues and opposition teams, booking pitches and facilities, ensuring finances are healthy and that insurances, safeguarding and safety policies remain fit-for-purpose. Player subscriptions are kept very low to help inclusivity, therefore, volunteers need to work harder to raise sponsorship and keep a tight control of any costs. They also operate a boot exchange, reusing outgrown football boots.
Seaton Sluice Community Centre is a very successful and thriving independent community centre in the village of Seaton Sluice, Northumberland which is run and managed by a team of 40 volunteers.
They fundraise, manage and clean the building, engage with the local community and plan and deliver a range of events. These include Café and Luncheon Club, hosting a food bank and a cinema club as well as cooking and baking.
The hard work and dedication of the volunteers has brought this community together, creating a sense of belonging and improving local life.
Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland said:
“The work of the volunteers within these three charities has made a significant and valuable difference to the lives of others.
“The King’s Award gives national recognition to extraordinary acts of voluntary service and is only given out in exceptional circumstances.
“These volunteers are extremely passionate about what they do, and their hard work and dedication is an inspiration to us all. These commendations are so very well deserved, and I am pleased to see them gain the recognition they so rightfully warrant.”