Warwickshire Vision Support honoured with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

(30 May 2020 12:00 am)

Warwickshire Vision Support is proud to announce that its volunteers have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  The highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.  

Warwickshire Vision Support, formerly known as Warwickshire Association for the Blind, has been supporting visually impaired people for over a century.  Today the charity and its 250 plus volunteers run 14 social clubs offering activities and social support; host 4 vision support centres and 4 eye clinic advice desks providing information, advice and guidance to people coming to terms with sight loss; operate a home visiting service helping to address issues of social isolation; as well as delivering IT training and advocacy support to enable people to maintain their independence and exercise their rights.

With the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, our volunteers have demonstrated their remarkable dedication to those they support.  In a little over 2 months, the charity and its volunteers have contacted over 3,000 visually impaired people in Warwickshire, to make sure that they have practical and emotional support to help them weather the crisis.  Many have also signed up to a telephone befriending service to help alleviate isolation, something which has been exacerbated by the lock-down.

The charity provides a lifeline to visually impaired people enabling them to live fulfilling independent lives.

Warwickshire Vision Support is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. In fact, only two charities received the Award in Warwickshire this year whilst 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 Warwickshire Vision Support will receive the award from Mr Timothy Cox, Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from Warwickshire Vision Support will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.  

Liz Thiebe, Warwickshire Vision Support’s Chair of Trustees, says:  “We are thrilled with the recognition provided by this award.  We would not have been able to respond to the Covid 19 challenges without the commitment, flexibility and willingness from our volunteers.  This commitment can be seen across the entire spectrum of volunteer talent…from the volunteer board to the volunteers making the calls to our visually impaired people over the past 3 months.  A big well done and thank you to all of our volunteers.”

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