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Royal award for The People’s Kitchen

The People’s Kitchen Newcastle has received Royal recognition for the sterling work carried out by its army of 130 Volunteers.

The charity has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, an annual award given to groups in the voluntary sector of the United Kingdom.

Winning groups are announced in the London Gazette on 2 June each year, the anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The award is equivalent to the MBE and is the highest award that can be made to a voluntary group. The Cabinet Office manages the award that is known as the MBE for volunteer organisations.

From humble beginnings in 1985 the charity has transformed thousands of disadvantaged people’s lives by providing them with friendship and food and filling a vitally important gap in the evenings when homeless people are at their most vulnerable. This work however would be impossible without the work of the charity’s unpaid Volunteers.

Despite a growing demand for The People’s Kitchen’s services which has seen a 30 percent increase in the last four years, the Volunteers have achieved the impossible simply by giving their time and expertise freely and working towards a common goal to grow, collect, prepare, cook and serve some 40,000 hot meals each year over the last 29 years.

The People’s Kitchen Chairman, Bob Eldridge was delighted that the charity’s Volunteers had been recognised for their unending and unpaid work.

“This award is all about the people who willingly give around 35,000 hours per year of their precious time. We have people from all walks of life and ages from 18 to 80 who travel from as far afield as Alnwick and Durham during the evenings and weekends all year long to consistently meet the needs of our Friends. I am delighted for the charity but even more pleased for our 130 Volunteers. They are all amazing people and the Award is for them.”

Volunteers at The People’s Kitchen carry out a huge range of work including tending the allotment, organising supplies in the food warehouse, driving, cooking, serving, listening and signposting for accommodation and health care. In addition, there is a rambling club, a clothing programme, Street Outreach Volunteers and a team to deal with administration & recruitment.

Volunteers will receive the Queen’s Award presented by The Lord Lieutenant of Newcastle and the Lord Mayor of Newcastle at a special event later in the year.

“The People’s Kitchen relies on food and money donations to help us to continue our work however, unlike many other charities, 80 percent of all donations go directly towards providing support for the homeless. There are no payroll costs, volunteering at The People’s Kitchen means simply just that.

“ Our Volunteers deserve this award for their remarkable attitude to life and their dedication to The People’s Kitchen. After all, it’s no easy task providing hot meals, out of normal hours, six days a week, every week of the year no matter what the weather; even on Christmas Day.

“It’s a remarkable accolade for our fantastic Volunteers and I’m very proud of each and every one of them,” said Mr Eldridge.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Highlights PR .

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