Bognor charity receives royal seal of approval with Queen’s Award

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

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 9:00 am

The charity also received an additional ‘Special Recognition – Covid 19’ commendation, recognising its impactful support to the community during the pandemic.

Last year volunteers offered over 1,000 hours which included over 5,000 phone calls to members, working to help people with sight loss to stay active and independent and feel less isolated during the most challenging and uncertain times.

Nik Demetriades, chief executive at 4Sight, said: “We are very proud of our amazing team of dedicated volunteers; they and their hundreds of predecessors have always been at the heart of this charity’s work.

4Sight Vision Support volunteers in 2019

“It is particularly profound to receive the award in this our 100th anniversary year, especially after the recent challenges we have faced.

“Just a couple of examples of our volunteers’ efforts include the continuation of an invaluable service by repairing talking watches remotely, and a team that packed nearly 2,000 kindness packs which contained a range of items including large print crosswords, tea and biscuits or activity books and hot chocolate for its younger members.”

4Sight provides free advice, support and specialist information to blind and sight impaired residents throughout West Sussex.

Its team of over 200 volunteers undertakes many diverse roles in helping the charity deliver its services to over 2,000 people aged four to 100-plus each year.

Volunteer coordinator Karen Mclachlan said: “From making regular welfare calls to members, to supporting with virtual clubs, making tea and chatting to members at our social clubs, packing newsletters, to driving our minibuses; all our volunteers are invaluable and we are truly grateful for everything they do to support the charity and its members and all the staff.

“I know that this news will mean so much to each and every one of them!”

4Sight Vision Support is one of only four charities in West Sussex to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year, out of a total of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK.

The award was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee and recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Representatives of 4Sight Vision Support will receive the award crystal and certificate from the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper, later this summer.

Two volunteers will also attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s award.

The Lord-Lieutenant said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to the four outstanding and diverse groups in the county that have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“The challenges of the last year have put immense pressure on the voluntary sector across the country, and here in West Sussex we have seen countless groups and individuals give their time and expertise to help others, and we have been reminded yet again of the vital contribution that volunteers make to their communities.

“The Award is a tremendous accolade for these four outstanding groups and I sincerely hope that their achievements will encourage other volunteer groups to consider putting themselves forward for nomination for this prestigious award.”

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