Three north-east groups pick up Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Aberdeen-based CFINE, a charity and social enterprise, has been honoured
Aberdeen-based CFINE, a charity and social enterprise, has been honoured

Three north-east groups were celebrating today after picking up one of the UK’s highest honours.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is given to organisations that strive to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

This year’s recipients – announced on the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, June 2 – included Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), Stonehaven Tolbooth Association and Sport Aberdeen.

CFINE, a charity and social enterprise made up of around 350 volunteers, runs a food bank in the city and tackles poverty through a range of support and services.

Dave Simmers, chief executive of CFINE, said: “We are delighted that our volunteers have received this most distinctive award.”

The Stonehaven Tolbooth Association has a team of volunteers who protect the heritage of the Tolbooth Museum and old town clock tower.

Since the volunteers took over, there has been a significant year on year rise in footfall to the museum, with around 24,000 visits by local people and visitors from the UK and overseas in 2017 and 2018.

Carol Kinghorn, lord lieutenant of Kincardineshire, said: “I am delighted that this group’s work has been recognised in this way for their outstanding commitment to the Tolbooth Museum in Stonehaven.”

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The third north-east recipient was Sport Aberdeen, which carries out and promotes a number of community sports programmes.

Sport Aberdeen’s chairman Colin G Taylor said: “It came as a complete surprise, as I wasn’t aware that we had even been nominated.

“Receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a fantastic recognition for the volunteers that work with us and to the outstanding work they do in the local communities on a daily basis.”

All the recipients will receive their awards at a special ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse later this summer.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service independent committee chair Sir Martyn Lewis said: “The record number of nominations for this year’s Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service proves volunteering at a grassroots level continues to thrive.”