timthumb-1The charities are Ryedale Carers Service, Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre and The Ryedale Youth Theatre.

Ryedale Carers Support is a local voluntary organisation and registered charity that provides practical and emotional help for carers, the people they care for and older people living on their own. The service is provided by over 100 volunteers who visit weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on the needs of each individual.

The Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre was started, and is still run, by a dynamic group of volunteers from the local community who work hard to preserve the town’s history, educating residents and visitors. Volunteers range from 20 to 80 years old, from all walks of life. They work together in cross-generational projects to strengthen community ties and build pride in the town. Based in a deprived area, they welcome volunteers who need support to improve their skills and confidence, tackling social isolation and loneliness.

Ryedale Youth Theatre encourages and instructs young people aged 8-18 in all aspects of the performing arts. Over 80 volunteers are involved filling roles such as director, choreographer, chaperone, wardrobe, carpenters, electricians etc. The rapport between teachers and members and parents alike produces a feeling of a family enterprise. Rehearsals and performances provide a happy, friendly, disciplined and focused atmosphere, allowing the members to flourish and it is a pleasure to witness the enjoyment that RYT members have whilst working together as a team in harmony. From a modest start the group has grown to become one of the most well respected Youth Theatre’s in the country.

The work of the three groups in the community has now been honoured and recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest national award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.  Representatives from the groups attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace last month where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award; some will also be attending the Queen’s lunch party in the Mall in London on Sunday 12th June.

The groups will receive the award from the Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd CBE, later this summer.

The Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Barry Dodd CBE said:

“I am thrilled that these three groups have been recognised; this is the highest number of QAVS won by North Yorkshire since the award was instituted in 2002 and I look forward to meeting the groups personally. I encourage people to nominate other worthy groups from our County for this award.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said:

“I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, said:

“I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. The huge amount of work and commitment these organisations put into their local communities is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a more compassionate society.”