The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services

The Mulberry Centre was awarded with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Representatives of The Mulberry Centre, Raj Athwal, Executive Director and Jane Kelly, Founder Patron and Trustee, received the prestigious award crystal and certificate from Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London.

The Mulberry Centre is one 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.

This year, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service are additionally giving a special designation to QAVS awardees that provided impactful support to the community in response to the pandemic last year – either by managing a significant increase in their usual work or providing extra support in other ways. The Mulberry Centre has been selected for this designation and will receive a special thank you. We will consequently receive a slightly modified crystal with the words ‘with special recognition – Covid 19’ included in the engraving.

To celebrate we hosted a volunteer Tea Party at the Centre, to thank our volunteers and to celebrate winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  The day consisted of music performances, presentation of award badges, speeches, and tea and cakes to thank all of our wonderful volunteers for their hard work. The awards were presented by Paul Kennerley, the Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow whilst Councillor Bishnu Gurung, The Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, and Councillor Geoff Acton, The Mayor of the London Borough Richmond were also present.

Jane Kelly, Trustee and the Founder Patron of the charity, commented:This is a wonderful tribute to our volunteers in this our 20th Anniversary year. They have always been at the heart of what we do and play an essential role in supporting anyone affected by cancer.”

Aileen McLeish, Chair says:The Mulberry Centre would not be the success it is to date without the support of its volunteers.  This last year has been particularly challenging and it is good to see the exceptional role played by our volunteers during the Covid pandemic being recognised in this award. Our clients and the Centre owe our volunteers a huge debt of gratitude which is reflected in this award.”