Saffron Walden sight loss charity receives Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Saffron charity Support 4 Sight has received a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

Saffron charity Support 4 Sight has received a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. - Credit: Archant

The efforts of a local charity which have transformed the lives of people with sight loss for 25 years have been recognised with a national volunteering accolade.

Support 4 Sight has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The organisation, which is based in High Street, assists visually impaired people to maintain their independence and quality of life. Their team also works to prevent avoidable sight loss and to raise awareness of the reality of living with sight difficulties.

Support 4 Sight has a fully-equipped resource centre providing equipment demonstrations, support and advice including information on benefits. The charity’s volunteers aim to be there when someone first receives the devastating news of sight loss, and follows up by going on home visits and helping those with sight loss continue an independent way of life at home. It also provides support at local eye clinics, coffee mornings and social trips.

Support 4 Sight is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year.

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This accolade aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities, and was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

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This year’s diverse range of recipients encompass volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a community arts centre in County Down.

Representatives of Support 4 Sight will receive the award from Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex. later this summer. Two volunteers from the charity will also attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s award.

Support 4 Sight chief executive Gary Hyams said: “I am delighted that the continued hard work of our volunteers has been recognised. Their hard work and commitment is the driving success of this charity, we could not provide the services that we do without them.”

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