People of Action

Rotary club in Merseyside receives King’s Award for Voluntary Service

Rotary club in Merseyside receives King’s Award for Voluntary Service

The prestigious award is the highest recognition given to volunteer groups across the United Kingdom and it has rewarded St Helens Rotary for their tireless dedication to voluntary projects.

Rotary St Helens receives The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. Rotary St Helens, a group of volunteers based in St Helens for 100 years, has just been granted The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

Rotary St Helens has been recognised for its innovative approaches to addressing community challenges. During the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, stewards were repeatedly asked by the public for advice on how to obtain access to foodbanks and mental health support.

Rotary offered a solution, a community poster, listing the top six support areas identified within St Helens Borough.

I am delighted that we have been recognised for the hard work and commitment of our members in supporting the local community.”

Under each area was a QR Code, that once scanned, would take the user to a link to local charities and organisations providing support for that specific need.  In addition Rotary recognised issues in both Men’s and Women’s health, delivering in partnership with local primary schools, cards for Mother’s and Father’s Day. The children illustrated the cards, including their own personal messages.  Printed inside was a QR Code taking the user to the specific websites that offered support.

Rotary St Helens supported the elderly by linking primary schools to local care homes, with children creating Christmas cards addressed to residents.  For many, this was special, as it would be the only Christmas card they would receive.

Rotarians voluntarily supported three of our local primary schools with their reading.

Rotary has recently delivered a Heritage Trail highlighting the world-leading industrial history of St Helens, increasing community aspirations and complementing the planned development of the town centre. This has also the added advantage of supporting team-building canoeing sessions on the Sankey Canal, the first in many decades.

These listed projects illustrate why Rotary St Helens was deemed worthy of the Kings Award for Voluntary Service and are in addition to the many significant activities the club has delivered for a century.

Rotary St Helens is one of 262 local charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Their work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee.

Following the accession of His Majesty, The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award. Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse and include volunteer groups from across the UK. Six Representatives of Rotary St Helens will receive the award crystal and certificate from the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside in the near future. In addition, two volunteers from Rotary St Helens will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Paul Winstanley, President at the time of the nomination commented, “It is such an honour for Rotary St Helens in our centenary year to receive this prestigious award, especially as it’s the first year of The King’s Award for Voluntary Service being awarded. I am delighted that we have been recognised for the hard work and commitment of our members in supporting the local community.

“Rotary St Helens decided to deliver unique and novel projects to address some of the challenges within our community, which are now being adopted by other Rotary Clubs.  I believe this award will also raise awareness across the UK by highlighting Rotary’s service to communities, encouraging others to aid its good work.”