09:43AM, Thursday 07 June 2012
Charitable groups that help the homeless, families, refugees and the disabled have received royal recognition.
Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC), Slough Refugee Support, Child Contact Centres Maidenhead and Slough, Les Webber's Angling Projects and the Windsor-based Rivertime Boat Trust were among 112 outstanding UK organisations announced as recipients of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2012 on Friday.
This unique UK national honour was created by Her Majesty to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002 and to recognise the contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers.
It has an equivalent status for groups as the MBE has for individuals.
Slough Refugee Support, in Bath Road, works with refugees and asylum seekers in the area.
Emmanuel Munyambuga, project manager, said: "It is a testimony to the job we do. We are really delighted, it is a massive achievement."
The Child Contact Centres in Slough and Maidenhead are run by volunteers and provide a safe and secure environment for families to meet.
One centre is at the United Reformed Church in Maidenhead, another at St Andrew's Shared Church in Washington Drive, Cippenham – which is run by members of Soroptimist International - Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead, and a third at St Mary's Church in Church Street, Slough.
Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC), based at Serena Hall in Burlington Avenue, provides services to tackle homelessness and social exclusion.
Project manager Mandy McGuire said: "We are really delighted to receive this honour.
"It will raise our profile and mark our work for vulnerable adults."
The charity is the only drop-in day centre for homeless people within a radius of 40 miles, and is run by a small staff and volunteers.
The project also helps people with housing benefits and health, advocacy, meals, bath and shower facilities, and advises them how to find employment and complete their CVs.
In Windsor, the Rivertime Boat Trust operates a specially commissioned boat for use by disabled and disadvantaged people in the Thames Valley.
It has given 6,000 people a ride on the boat since it started in 2007.
Les Webber's Angling Projects, based in Welley Road, Wraysbury, provides angling courses for schools and other organisations.
Winners will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and a commemorative crystal.
Visit www.direct.gov.uk/qavs to nominate a group for 2012, the closing date is September 30.
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