A Luton charity has been honoured by Her Majesty and awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Signposts, who provide temporary accommodation to people who are homeless, has been recognised for the efforts of their clients who volunteer across Bedfordshire.
The award is the highest award a voluntary group can be bestowed with in the UK.
The past 10 years has seen over 25,000 hours of voluntary commitment to major events in Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis, including the Love Luton Half Marathon, Luton Carnival, Zee Mela, Houghton Regis May Fair, Dunstable Town Council Big Lunch and The Great British Spring Clean.
The team has organised and facilitated hundreds of volunteers who have cleared thousands of bags of litter, planted trees, painted play equipment and built partnerships with other groups.
Signposts Head of Community Partnerships and Innovation Phyl Rainey says: “I am truly delighted that the work of Signposts (Luton) has been recognised by HRH Queen.
“The volunteers of Team SP who are people that are homeless from Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis and are dedicated to making our towns a better place to live.
“All of our clients and volunteers have committed themselves to continue to work towards making Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis a better place.
“At Signposts we are passionate about challenging the stigma and stereotypes around homelessness and this prestigious award recognises the great achievements of each and every individual person.”
Gill Peck and Phyl Rainey from Signposts attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award. Signposts is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Others in the county include Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama, FACES Bedford (Family and Children’s Early-help Service), Flitwick Scout Group and The Woburn Sands Band.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.
It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
Winners are announced each year on June 2, – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis said: “Once again, it is a genuine pleasure to hear that HM The Queen has recognised the fantastic voluntary work that is a fundamental part of life in Bedfordshire.
“The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a major recognition of the outstanding work and extraordinary contribution these organisations and volunteers make in our community.
“I offer them all my sincere congratulations and thanks and I look forward to meeting them this year to present their awards.”
Representatives of Signposts Team SP will receive the award from Helen Nellis, Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire on Tuesday, July 16, at a presentation in St George’s Square, Luton.