Northumberland County Blind Association, along with two other groups, were presented with the Queen’s Award by the Duchess of Northumberland, in her capacity as Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland, during a special ceremony at Alnwick Castle.
Created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognises outstanding work by volunteer organisations.
The three groups have known about their awards since last year. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the presentation ceremony did not take place until recently.
Northumberland County Blind Association has been running for more than 20 years. It provides advice, information services and support to vulnerable, socially isolated and visually impaired people living in the county.
At its heart are over 100 volunteers, some visually impaired themselves, who are essential in the running of the association. More than 1,000 visually impaired people of all ages benefit from its services each year.
The volunteers carry out many active roles such as befriending, running social groups, providing advice and information and developing and delivering newsletters.
They drive people to hospital or other appointments and provide invaluable emotional support, either over the phone or in home visits.
The Duchess said: “These volunteers are extremely passionate about what they do. Their hard work and dedication is an inspiration to us all.”