We congratulate The Young ME Sufferers Trust on their award today of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, which honours their work in pursuing educational rights and advancing the care of children with ME.
The award – officially dubbed ‘the MBE for volunteer groups' – sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those receiving it being judged to be of the highest standard.
“It is a wonderful honour to have our work recognised by the Queen. ME devastates children's lives. It is potentially severe and chronic and is the biggest cause of long term sickness absence from schools”, said Jane Colby, the former school headteacher who is executive director of The Young ME Sufferers (Tymes) Trust.
Tymes Trust are one of 103 volunteering groups in the UK to win this year's award. Judges worked their way through a list of 341 nominations from members of the public who have been helped personally or witnesses the benefits of the group's work.
They will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and a piece of commemorative crystal from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre, at a special ceremony. The group has also received an invitation to send representatives to a Buckingham Palace garden party this summer.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Main Award Committee Chair and former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said:
“Outstanding volunteer groups across the UK all too often go without recognition for the truly amazing work they do, despite the vital part they play in helping bind our communities together. It's a great pleasure to celebrate the efforts of The Young ME Sufferers Trust with The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and help raise awareness of all they do for the benefit of others.”
More than 850 groups around the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man have now won the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, over the eight years since it was created to mark the The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
For details of all this year's Award winners and information on how to nominate a group, visit www.direct.gov.uk/thequeensawardforvoluntaryservice, where a nomination form can be downloaded.