Irish volunteers in Luton honoured with Queen's Award
Life & Style

Irish volunteers in Luton honoured with Queen's Award

VOLUNTEERS for the Luton Irish Forum (LIF) charity have been honoured for their outstanding contribution to the community they serve.

The 60 volunteers who support the service have won a prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2020.

The QAVS is a unique national honour created by the Queen to recognise the work that groups of volunteers do to support local communities.

LIF is one of only four charities to receive such an award in Bedfordshire this year.

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Volunteer stewards at Luton's St Patrick's Festival Parade

Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, was one of the first to congratulate the charity.

“I was delighted to hear that Luton Irish Forum were awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service,” she said.

“The group has grown and flourished so much since it was formed over 20 years ago and still has some its original volunteers on its books.”

She added: “The Forum not only provides much valued support to the Irish community in Luton, but also works hard to promote community cohesion and community engagement across all ethnic/faith groups.

“My sincere congratulations to everyone at Luton Irish Forum; I look forward to the time when I can visit in person and present the award on behalf of HM The Queen.”

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LIF volunteer stall holders at the Luton St Patrick's Festival Parade Day

Regarding their award, LIF Chief Officer Noelette Hanley said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our 60 volunteers and they thoroughly deserve it.

“This demonstrates their amazing commitment and the exceptional difference they make to the lives of other local people.”

LIF volunteers are involved in all aspects of the charity’s work, including sitting on the Board of Trustees, running all the regular social groups (e.g. Baby and Toddlers, Art, Irish language, Tea & Chat, Choir, Pipe Band, Calligraphy) befriending service, planning events, fundraising and public speaking.

The presentation of the award and the associated celebrations are on hold due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

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