Queen's Birthday Honours: Berwick's Cancer Cars recognised

Members of a Berwick charity have their own reason to celebrate today, as they have received a prestigious royal honour.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 7:30 am

The Berwick and District Cancer Support Group, known as Berwick’s Cancer Cars, is among the organisations selected for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service this year.

The annual Award – the equivalent of an MBE – was created by the Queen in 2002 to celebrate her Golden Jubilee.

It recognises outstanding work by volunteer groups. Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

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Berwick's Cancer Cars has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Picture by Sarah Jamieson.

Berwick’s Cancer Cars provide free transport to those with a cancer diagnosis living in Berwick and surrounding villages to enable them to reach their cancer-related appointments to both regional hospitals and for specialist cancer treatment further afield.

Coun Paul Jackson, chairman of trustees, said: “This is a tremendous honour for the charity and recognises not only the exceptional work of our volunteers, but the standing that it has in the community at large.

“Without the extraordinary level of community support Cancer Cars receives, we would not exist.”

Each nomination for the accolade is judged on the benefits given to the local community and its standing within that community, and the Berwick and District Cancer Support Group is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year.

It comes with a certificate signed by the Queen, together with an engraved commemorative crystal globe.

Representatives of Berwick’s Cancer Cars will receive the award crystal and certificate from the Duchess of Northumberland Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland, later this month.

In addition, two volunteers from the charity will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023, along with other recipients of this year’s award.

Andrew Smith chairman of Berwick’s Cancer Cars volunteers committee, said: “The last two years have been particularly challenging and stressful for the charity, but we have been overwhelmed by the dedication of our volunteers and the kindness of our supporters.

“To receive this award, in our 30th anniversary year, is really the icing on the cake.”

The Berwick and District Cancer Support Group, which is supported by fundraising and donations, was founded in 1992 by a group of people who through experience knew how difficult it was to get to main hospitals from the Berwick area for cancer appointments.

It is run on a totally voluntary basis and many of its members have experienced living alongside cancer in one way or another.

For more information about the charity, go online to berwickcancersupport.co.uk

The Duchess of Northumberland said: “The work of these volunteers has made a significant and valuable difference to the lives of others.

“The Queen’s Award gives national recognition to extraordinary acts of voluntary service and the accolade is only given out in exceptional circumstances.

“These volunteers are extremely passionate about what they do, and their hard work and dedication is an inspiration to us all.

“These commendations are so very well deserved, and I am pleased to see the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recipients gain the recognition they so rightfully warrant.”