Herts-based charity Small Acts of Kindness has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service with special recognition for their work during Covid-19. The award is the highest a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Small Acts of Kindness work in partnership with more than 90 organisations from the voluntary, corporate and statutory sectors and more than 300 community volunteers who show great commitment to their cause. They regularly look after 60 people in Tring and 60 more in Berkhamsted.
Their mission is to reduce the negative impact of loneliness and isolation on the physical and mental wellbeing of older people, particularly those who are cold in their homes. Their primary activity to achieve this is sourcing and distributing practical gift bags and helpful information packs to their recipients. Additionally, they seek opportunities to connect communities with kindness.
‘As I was packing the bags I knew each bag would bring a smile to somebody’s face and that makes volunteering so worthwhile.’ said one Small Acts of Kindness 2020 volunteer.
Since the charity was set up just six years ago, they have reached more than 45,500 older people identified as being cold in their homes – many having to make the difficult choice between heating and eating.
Small Acts of Kindness is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
Lynne Misner, Chief Executive of Small Acts of Kindness, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled and delighted that the hard work and dedication of our volunteers has been recognised with the highest award any charity can receive in the UK. Everything we do is led by our wonderful family of volunteers and this award recognises their efforts above all.’
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.
Recipients are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including local charity Sunnyside Rural Trust, an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group for those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Representatives of Small Acts of Kindness will receive the award crystal and certificate from Robert Voss CBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from Small Acts of Kindness will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s award.