Two voluntary groups from North Yorkshire have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Dementia Forward was set up in 2012 to cater for local needs, helping identify people living with dementia and then delivering support services. The charity also promotes dementia friendly neighbourhoods by giving service providers an understanding of the effects of dementia. These services are delivered by paid professionals and, more importantly, volunteers. Like many medical conditions, dementia brings its own challenges and the City of York and North Yorkshire are fortunate to have an organisation focussed solely on dementia. Furthermore, when the City of York set up a volunteering scheme during the first lockdown, Dementia Forward offered its own York volunteers to join the effort but concentrating particularly on those thought to be living with dementia.
Over the past 28 years, Foxglove Covert has drawn to it an intimate mix of both the human and natural environment in a way that allows both to thrive. Look at the detailed species lists, the comprehensive register of birds ringed, the fungi, the insects and butterflies and the birds and mammals seen mean this is no ordinary nature reserve. It has welcomed 740,000 visitors to date, it looks like a managed wilderness and yet needs 65,000 hours of volunteer labour over the past four years to keep it so vibrant.
Dementia Forward and Foxglove Covert are two of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local 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 Dementia Forward and Foxglove Covert will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mrs. Johanna Ropner, Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from each group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Mrs. Ropner commented: “I am delighted that the extraordinary work of both Dementia Forward and Foxglove Covert have been recognised with this truly prestigious award. Both groups are manned by the most dedicated, wonderful set of volunteers, without whom they could not make such an enormous positive impact upon their communities. I am looking forward to visiting them later this Summer and celebrating this award with them. I very much hope that we will see more excellent groups nominated for the Award in the future.”