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Charities pick up highest accolade for good works
TWO of Swindon’s charities were given the highest accolade yesterday when they were presented with the Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service.
The Swindon Therapy Centre and the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust were presented with the awards by the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire Sarah Troughton.
The awards have an equivalent status to that of the MBE.
They were two out of just 112 awarded across the country this year and take Wiltshire’s total to 18.
Mrs Troughton was given a tour of the facilities at the Swindon Therapy Centre yesterday before presenting David and Jackie Wray, who run the centre, with the award and framed certificate.
She said: “It comes as no surprise to me that the centre has received this award because last year I had the pleasure of visiting it, “The support they give to those suffering with MS and other neurological conditions is exemplary. “This is acknowledged through the high regard in which the centre is held, not only by clients but a very wide area of supporters.”
Mayor Mick Bray said: “This is the perfect opportunity to say thank you to the volunteers – that word has been floated up and down the country a lot this year, with the jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics and it is the best thing you can do.
“There are plenty of organisations that need volunteers and I want to congratulate this organisation that brings in so many, they do some fantastic work.”
Following the presentation, Mrs Troughton also visited the Wilts And Berks Canal Trust where she presented a Queen’s Award to vice-chairman Kath Hatton.
She received the award on behalf of the chairman, John Laverick, who is currently in hospital.
The Wilts And Berks Canal Trust was formed to protect, conserve and improve the canal's route with the ultimate goal of restoring it to navigable status.
The presentation took place alongside a restored stretch of the canal near Rushey Platt, before guests enjoyed a short trip aboard the narrowboat Dragonfly to Skew Bridge.
Speaking at the presentation, Mrs Troughton said: “This is a special and significant occasion for the trust and I am well aware of the magnificent work that has been done over the years in restoring the canal. “It provides us with such a wonderful leisure facility, whether you are on a boat or walking along the banks.
“The pleasure it brings would not be possible without the dedicated work of the trust. “The county of Wiltshire is grateful to you.”
Receiving the award, Kath said: “I am sad that John couldn’t be here and we all wish him well.
“This is the highest award given to charities and we have been working on this canal since 1977. “It is an immensely challenging and exciting time for us and I would like to say ‘well done’ to everyone involved.”