So Sunday 2nd June 2019 was our moment. There it was. In black and white. In the special Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) edition of the London Gazette. The Friends of The Royal Marsden, Chelsea had won the QAVS, the equivalent of the MBE for voluntary groups. What an honour.
After weeks of not being able to tell a soul, we could at last reveal the big news to all our volunteers. Their wonderful work had enabled us to be given this wonderful award. We were thrilled.
The QAVS recognises outstanding work by volunteer groups which benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year in June, to coincide with National Volunteer's Week. In 2019 there were 281 charity recipients. The QAVS is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and considering there are around 168,000 registered charities in the UK it is a huge accolade to receive one.
Our thanks and gratitude go first and foremost to our wonderful volunteers whose support gave us the confidence to enter. Without their dedication and hard work we could not have got close to getting this award and we are very lucky all to be part of such a wonderful team.
Thanks also go the the staff at The Royal Marsden, Chelsea who support us tirelessly and give us encouragement when we need it, advice when we want it and help when we ask for it.
And finally, to the patients at this wonderful hospital. We do it for you. You are our inspiration and we celebrate you.