HRH The Duke of Gloucester today (12th November 2019) presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) to Stripey Stork in recognition of their volunteers and all they have achieved in providing essential items to local families in need. Accepting the certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen and an English crystal with the logo insignia, were Founder and General Manager, Nicola Dawes and Chair of Trustees, Karen Lord.
The QAVS recognises outstanding contributions made to local communities and was introduced in 2002 in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.
Stripey Stork was founded in East Surrey 2013, and has become a lifeline for many vulnerable families in the area. The charity collects new and pre-loved items for babies and children and distributes them to needy families via a network of referral partners, including schools, health visitors, social services and women’s refuges. To date, they have responded to over 8000 requests for help by providing clothes, books, toys and equipment to a value of over £2.7m.
Mrs Dawes commented: “Receiving such a prestigious award which recognises our amazing team of volunteers is a fitting acknowledgement for all their hard work. The demand for our service has grown more than we could have imagined and, whilst it saddens us that there is such a need, the power behind being able to answer this call has been our dedicated team of volunteers. We have moved to larger premises this year with an aim of helping even more families in Surrey, and so this national recognition is a great motivation to all of Team Stork to offer the service we are so proud of on a wider scale.”
The presentation took place at Stripey Stork’s warehouse in Reigate, with around 80 attendees including the charity’s volunteers, partners, supporters and local dignitaries.
Accompanying His Royal Highness on the visit was the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux. During his visit His Royal Highness had the opportunity to meet the regular volunteers as well as corporate volunteers, and some of the referral partners who use and value the service. A group of junior volunteers from local schools were also in attendance – Caitlyn Lawrence (aged 9), Dylan Gazey (aged 10) and Sara Littlefair (aged 13). They had the opportunity to talk enthusiastically with His Royal Highness about why Stripey Stork means so much to them, explaining the ways in which they had made their own contribution. Caitlyn presented a mini version of the mascot Stripey to His Royal Highness which he proudly placed in his suit jacket pocket.
The formal presentation ended with His Royal Highness extending his congratulations to the group. He ended his speech with the lasting comment: “May I congratulate you all for what you do and for the recognition that you now have and I hope that you will all feel both individually and collectively extremely proud of what you have achieved and how it has been recognised this way.”