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Queen’s Award For Voluntary Services Honours Worplesdon’s Fairwood Helpers

Published on: 13 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 13 Oct, 2018

A Worplesdon-based volunteer scheme that provides transport for elderly and isolated people has been honoured by receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The award was presented to the chairman of Fairwood Helpers, Sue Harris, by the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Fairwood Helpers was launched in May 1998 with the support of many local Worplesdon groups, driving people to medical appointments or shopping. It also befriends people who might otherwise be isolated, carrying out small jobs and tasks for those who would otherwise find them impossible to do.

Many of the people who use the service were at the presentation along with the Fairwood Helper volunteers, including committee members Barry Gamble, Trevor Elliot, Mike Ryan, Laurence Edwards, Julie Webb, Judy Green and David Willis.

A citation, read by Roshan Bailey, referred to the charity’s “outstanding voluntary work in the community”. Only one of 250 presented nationwide, it is the highest award in the volunteer sector and equivalent to an MBE for voluntary organisations.

Pictured from left: Barry Gamble, the Fairwood Helper treasurer; its chairman, Sue Harris; the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, and his wife Sarah; and the Lord-Lieutenant’s cadet.

At the presentation Mr More-Molyneux said that there were only nine Queen’s Awards in Surrey this year out of more than 14,000 charities. He added: “These awards are not given out like Smarties. I urge the more than 40 volunteers to continue with the service which was needed more than ever now with council cuts.”

Sue Harris gave thanks to the founder members of Fairwood Helpers on the 20th anniversary and to the current volunteers who do so much.  She said: “With over 10,000 jobs in the 20 years, it still is a much needed service.”

Sue quoted one man who needed to go to hospital in Frimley but had been quoted £90 for the return trip by taxi, Fairwood Helpers sorted that out!

Michael More-Molyneux presents the award to Sue Harris.

The ceremony was also attended by the High Sheriff of Surrey, Jim Glover; the Mayor of Guildford, Mike Parsons; the chairman of Surrey County Council, Tony Samuels; and Guildford borough and Worplesdon parish councillors.

A loyal toast to the Queen was given followed by a generous tea for all.

 

Sue Harris said Fairwood Helpers is always looking for volunteers to man the phones and to be drivers for the people to appointments and on trips.

If you want to help or if you would like to talk to someone about what Fairwood Helpers can help you with, call  01483 237619. You can also contact Fairwood Helpers on its website.

 

The engraved glass award from the Queen for Voluntary Services.

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service citation signed by the Queen.

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