Marlow-based Link Foundation scoops Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Shay Bottomley

The Link Foundation is one of 10 charities working in Berkshire to have been selected as winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the award is the highest a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is the equivalent to an MBE.

The Link Foundation, which is based in Marlow but conducts most of its work within Berkshire, provides practical support to children and families.

It comes after a difficult year for vulnerable families under heightened pressures from the pandemic.

Una Loughrey, chairman of The Link Foundation, said: “We’re all thrilled to win this award.

“It’s really about our volunteers who give up their time and effort for The Link Foundation.

“It’s even more special for us as we all do it as a group, so it’s lovely to be recognised in this way.”

The Queen’s Award recognises the efforts of the foundation’s 40 volunteers as well as those who have contributed to the charity.

“The lovely thing about the award is that it’s not about one individual, it’s about all of the volunteers who have a lot of passion about giving back to the community,” said Una.

“So many people during the pandemic have phoned me to say ‘I’d like to volunteer’, it was really nice to see that people were really happy to help others.

“I think that’s one thing I’ll remember about the pandemic, the fact that so many people who had not been in contact with the Link Foundation before phoned me to say they wanted to help.”

Representatives from all groups will receive their award from James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, later this year.

Mr Puxley said: “I am thrilled and delighted that this year 10 Berkshire charities have had their good work and the work of volunteers recognised by being granted a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“During the assessment process that led up to them being given their award, I have been most impressed by the commitment shown in striving to improve the quality of life of those whom they have been helping.

“The volunteering ethos appears to be alive and well here in Berkshire and I hope that this will lead to many more local charities being nominated for this prestigious award.”

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