Belford charity receives Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Bell View in Belford.Bell View in Belford.
Bell View in Belford.
A group of volunteers based in Belford have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Bell View in Belford was established as a charity in 1998 in response to the closure of the village residential care home for the elderly.The local community worked hard to raise funds to develop a resource centre for older people in the village and for the wider community.The centre opened in 2005 and acts as a hub for delivering a wide range of services, activities and support.The main aims of the charity are to help combat social isolation and to support older people to live in their own home for as long as possible in the community of their choice. In enabling this to happen volunteers have played a vital role in the development of the charity and its work.Representatives from Bell View recently attended a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s award. They will receive the award from the Duchess of Northumberland, Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, later this month.Christine Harris, chairman of trustees of Bell View said: “We are delighted that the hard work and commitment of our loyal volunteers has been recognised in the presentation of this prestigious award.“The volunteers continue to provide hundreds of hours of support in various roles for the charity thereby enabling us to provide a wide range of services to the local community.”Bell View is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award.The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.