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Nightstop North East given Queen’s Award
June 12th, 2018
Nightstop North East has been honoured with the highest award given to UK volunteer groups – with its volunteers invited to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen’s Award is recognition, by the independent Assessment Committee chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, of Nightstop North East’s work in “preventing homelessness through volunteer community hosting and providing a safety net to those forced to leave their home”.
The service – supported by The Big Lottery Fund and part of a the national Nightstop UK network – offers young people and vulnerable adults with nowhere else to go a safe night’s sleep in the homes of volunteers.
Nightstop volunteers Natalie and Joe Rafferty attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace as a recognition of their public service, on Tuesday, 5 June.
Natalie said: “When we were asked to represent Nighstop North East at the Buckingham Palace garden party, we were initially shocked and surprised as it was the last thing we expected as Nightstop hosts.
“We had fantastic day at Buckingham Palace and met some lovely people including lords, ladies and royals. We felt extremely proud to be representing Nightstop on behalf of all the volunteers and staff, and of the national recognition the service is receiving for its vital work in making a difference in vulnerable people’s lives.”
Dimas Lopez, Deputy Prevention Services Manager, said: “We are delighted that the work of Nightstop volunteers is being honoured in this way. I’m sure none of our volunteers open their homes to vulnerable people to receive an award, but it certainly helps to know that their selfless deeds are not going unnoticed.
“Nightstop volunteers provide a hot meal and a warm bed at a time of genuine need for people who could otherwise be sleeping rough, or in an unsafe situation. They are certainly worthy recipients of this high honour.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was created by Her Majesty in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of her coronation, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.