Framlingham charity recognised by the Queen for its work supporting people during lockdown
A Framlingham charity has been recognised by the Queen for its work supporting people during lockdown.
Hour Community, a registered charity based in College Road, was among five organisations to be awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and the equivalent of an MBE.
During the pandemic, the group launched a number of initiatives for elderly and vulnerable residents in the town, including a befriending service to talk to people over the phone, providing transport to medical appointments, including Covid tests and vaccinations, picking up people’s shopping and prescriptions, and helping with odd jobs around the homes of residents.
Nick Corke, chief executive of Hour Community, expressed his delight at picking up the prestigious award.
“It’s humbling – I’m absolutely thrilled,” he said. “You don’t do anything for recognition, but it’s nice when you are recognised for it.
“But it’s not just for me, it’s for the whole team and all the people who have helped over the last 12 years.
“It’s all thanks to that community spirit – everyone wanted to do stuff to help and, hopefully, we did.”
During the past 12 months, the charity saw its volunteer numbers swell from 50 to 150, as good samaritans from across Suffolk signed up to offer their support.
The four other charities across the county to pick up the award were Butley Ferry, Home-Start in Suffolk, Inside Out Community Arts and Success After Stroke.
Clare FitzRoy, the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, who is tasked with representing the monarch in the county, said: “These five marvellous and varied groups reflect the depth and breadth of volunteering right across the county.
“This is a memorable day, with five winners – an all-time record for us – but we know there are so many more deserving groups out there, so please consider nominating others for 2022, my office is happy to advise.
“I am greatly looking forward to meeting these groups when we arrange their presentations later in the year.”
Two volunteers from the Hour Community will receive the award crystal and certificate signed by the Queen from the Lord-Lieutenant later this summer, before being invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May next year – something Mr Corke said he was very much looking forward to.
“It’s one of those things you expect other people to do, but not you – it’s just amazing,” he said.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.
Suffolk’s five winners are among 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK to receive the prestigious accolade this year.
The number of nominations remains high year on year, due in no small part to the growth of the voluntary sector since the beginning of the pandemic.