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‘MBE’ For Voluntary Groups Awarded Guildford Street Angels And The Brigitte Trust

Published on: 5 Jun, 2015
Updated on: 5 Jun, 2015

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the ‘MBE’ for voluntary groups, has been awarded to two organisations that operate in Guildford.

Guildford Street Angels has been on-hand and visible throughout the town on Friday and Saturday nights since 2008. Its volunteers offer caring, supportive and non-judgmental assistance to people who, for whatever reason, have become vulnerable during the night time and early hours.

Some of the Guildford Street Angels volunteers. Picture supplied by Experience Guildford.

Some of the Guildford Street Angels volunteers. Picture supplied by Experience Guildford.

They have helped ensure many a reveller receives a safe journey home. Well-known for the lollipops and flip-flops that they give out, they also dispense water, tissues, wet wipes, space blankets, hand gel and offer very basic first aid.  They pick up bottles and broken glass left discarded by visitors, and in the last year alone have cleaned up more than 1,000 bottles from the streets of Guildford.

Their work in collaboration with Surrey Police, Safer Guildford Partnership, the NHS, Pubwatch and the venue security staff has all been instrumental in the town achieving Purple Flag status in 2014.

The Revd Rod Boreham, the town centre chaplain said: “We are very proud and honoured to receive the Queen’s Award in recognition of the selfless efforts of our volunteers. They give their time and energy willingly to make sure that any vulnerable person they encounter is looked after and kept safe.”

The award to The Brigitte Trust and its volunteers comes in its 30th anniversary year.

When a family member is diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening illness it can be a lonely and frightening time. The Brigitte Trust, which operates throughout Surrey and a part of West Sussex, offers a free volunteer service of emotional support and practical help at home.

The service may also provide the family carer with a break, driving to medical or other appointments, shopping or just sitting quietly and listening.

Area covered by The Brigitte Trust.

Area covered by The Brigitte Trust.

The trust works closely with health professionals and hospices, complementing their service by offering clients and their family members time to share feelings and concerns as well as practical help at home when everyday tasks may have become more difficult. Volunteers also help clients access community support.

Chief Executive Catherine Hodgson, said: “I am thrilled that The Brigitte Trust and our volunteers, past and present, have been recognised with the Queen’s Award.

“We are often told by the families we support that having time to share some of the emotional burden can make a real difference when a serious diagnosis has been made. Our volunteers  are very special and we value and appreciate them enormously.”

The Guildford area organiser of The Brigitte Trust is Wendy Richards. Tel: 07584 778271.

In total, 12 organisations from Surrey have this year been given the The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The others are:
Cherry Trees, East Clandon.
Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust.
Hambledon Village Shop.
Haslemere Educational Museum.
Limbcare, Camberley.
Catalyst (formerly SAdAS).
Surrey Dolphins Swimobility, Woking.
The Rural Life Centre / Old Kiln Museum Trust, Tilford.
West Horsley Wheel of Care.
Holy Cross Hospital, Haslemere.

The awards will be presented later this year by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey.

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