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Irish Network Stevenage receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

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Irish Network Stevenage (INS), a group of volunteers based in Stevenage have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

  • Irish Network Stevenage Trustees
    Irish Network Stevenage Trustees
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The charity Irish Network Stevenage aims to help reduce the social isolation amongst older people. They arrange many different activities including monthly social events with live music, day trips and quizzes which are all great fun, they have seen a steady increase in attendance at each of them and currently support approximately 100 people month. 

All these activities are designed to cater for older people and include carers, housebound members and vulnerable elders. In addition to this they run a very active Care in the Community Programme which provides support to the more vulnerable members in our Community. This is an outreach programme for the elderly and housebound members of the community and we make approximately 700 home visits per year.

Representatives from Irish Network Stevenage attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award

Irish Network Stevenage is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. 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 2 June – 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.

Representatives of Irish Network Stevenage will receive the award from Mr Robert Voss CBE, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire later this summer.

Luke Donovan, Chair of Irish Network Stevenage says: We are so delighted and honoured to receive such a prestigious award. Our volunteers work tirelessly to support the most vulnerable members of our community, and to have such high recognition is a testament to how important they are. I feel very privileged to be Chair of such an important and hardworking charity.”

Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Council said “I am delighted & thrilled to see the outstanding work done by Irish Network Stevenage recognised by the award of the extremely prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. Our friends at Irish Network Stevenage have built on the strong links to Irish heritage which are a key foundation stone of our community. 

“Their inclusive and vibrant member base, the incredible work their volunteers carry out and the invaluable way they touch so many lives in a positive way show the very best of our community and embodies the ‘heart of gold’ our town is known for. Congratulations to the Irish Network team who truly deserve this recognition and thank you to all their volunteers for the important part they play in Stevenage life.”

Brian Dalton, CEO of Irish in Britain, said “The Queens Award for Voluntary Service is fantastic recognition for Irish Network Stevenage and their dedicated team of volunteers. Their contribution makes a huge impact in the lives of the Irish community and represents the best of what makes our community so vibrant and resilient. Congratulations from all our membership and the team at Irish in Britain.