Saffron Hall volunteers have received the King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) Award Crystal for promoting the arts.

The team was also presented with a KAVS certificate, signed by HM King Charles.

The award was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, recognising Saffron Hall Trust's commitment to 'arts for everyone through supporting community engagement and high-quality performances'.

Long-time volunteers Susan Feldman and Eileen Miller were presented with the award on stage.

Professor Sir Barry Ife CBE, outgoing chair of Saffron Hall Trust, and active volunteer Paul Garland gave acceptance speeches.

Being rewarded the KAVS places the Saffron Hall volunteers in an exclusive group, as only 10 charities, local enterprises, and volunteer-led groups received the award this year in Essex.

Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, said: “Saffron Hall Trust is exceptional as a high-quality community concert facility and much more.

"The vision of a local philanthropist, the drive of a committed, high-quality board of volunteer trustees, and the support of over 90 local volunteers, has transformed a school hall into an internationally recognised concert venue.

"If that wasn’t enough, each year, in conjunction with Anglia Ruskin University a unique Together in Sound music therapy programme is run to support around 220 people living with dementia and their partners, families, and carers.

"Learning and development music and arts programmes are taken into schools and during Covid, concerts were streamed worldwide to over 190,000 viewers; and there are plans to extend most of this outstanding work.

"It is no wonder that they have won the prestigious King’s Award for Voluntary Service.”

Deirdre Hickey and Mary Williams will act as representatives for the Trust at a celebratory Royal Garden Party in the summer.


Angela Dixon, chief executive of Saffron Hall Trust said: “We are incredibly proud of the 90-strong group that make up our volunteer body.

"They give many hours of dedicated service to the community, serving on the Saffron Hall Trust board, greeting and assisting audiences at Saffron Hall and working on our extensive schools and community programmes.

"They are our strongest advocates. They richly deserve this prestigious award, which will be proudly displayed on our foyer."