Stand-by-me Receives The King’s Award for Voluntary Service at Special Presentation Event

Stand-by-me Bereavement Support, a charity dedicated to assisting bereaved children, young people and their families in North Herts and Stevenage, held a special event to accept the prestigious King’s Award for Voluntary Service, often referred to as the ‘OBE for charities’. This esteemed accolade acknowledges the outstanding contributions of our volunteers.

The ceremony took place on Saturday, 1 June at Lambourne House in Hitchin, where Robert Voss, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, presented the award. The event was attended by the charity’s trustees, clinical volunteers, Young Ambassadors and various local dignitaries, including patron Billy Byrne from the popular TV show DIY SOS and Bim Afolami, who is standing for re-election as MP for Hitchin.

During the ceremony, Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss, who commented on the number of volunteers present, engaged with the volunteers and Young Ambassadors, taking the time to learn about their roles and stories, and understanding their motivations for volunteering with Stand-by-me.

Carol Read, chairperson of Stand-by-me Bereavement Support, expressed heartfelt appreciation for the recognition, saying: “Receiving the King’s Award for Voluntary Service is a tremendous honour for our charity. It underscores the dedication and expertise of our volunteers who tirelessly support bereaved children and families in our community. This award inspires us to continue our crucial work.”

Several of our volunteers expressed their delight in receiving this award and how wonderful it was to receive such high recognition for the work they do.

James, one of our community volunteers, said: “I am exceptionally proud to have a role with Stand-by-me, working with the Young Ambassadors, especially today as they were presented with the Kings Award for Voluntary service. This is a wonderful charity full of amazing people.”

Romy, one of our clinical volunteers said, “I have always been so proud to be able to give my time as a volunteer for such a vital charity. Receiving the King’s Award for Voluntary Service is just the icing on the cake for all us volunteers and the extended Stand-by-me family”.

In closing, Carol Read emphasized: “Our mission is far from complete. We are committed to supporting every bereaved child and young person in North Herts and Stevenage, ensuring that no child or family has to navigate their grief alone. This award is not just a recognition of our past efforts but a call to action for our future initiatives. Together, we can continue to bring light into the darkest moments of those we serve.”