Queen's Award for Baptist team
A team from a Baptist church that supports carers will receive the highest award given to local volunteer groups next week
The Carers Ministries Team at Rayleigh Baptist Church (RBC), Essex, are the recipients of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Services(QAVS), the MBE for volunteer groups.
The Queen's Award is given to recognise outstanding contributions to local communities by groups of volunteers. The RBC Carers Ministries Team is one of 224 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
The Award recognises that the volunteers within the RBC Carers Ministries Team offer effective support and time out for carers. Carers can access help on the telephone, as well as attending three different sessions throughout the month:
Carers Café, which takes place on the first Saturday of most months and includes various community activities
Carers and Cared For Coffee Morning, on the third Friday of every month.
Share the Care, which offers one-to-one support by appointment.
The café started 12 years ago with small local beginnings, but has steadily grown in numbers, both in volunteers and the carers and their loved ones who have registered for support.
While part of Rayleigh Baptist Church, no one is expected to embrace their faith. The only criteria being that they are a ‘Carer’. Everyone is welcome and the support services are free and make a significant contribution to improving the well-being of adult carers and their families.
In a statement, the church said the Carers Café and its satellite services ‘combat loneliness and isolation, signposting to useful contact and empowering Carers to make social connections with those who share a common factor – ‘They Care’.’
On being asked what receiving the QAVS means to the team, leader Georgina Biggs, said, 'Being awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is a great encouragement to the team and gives credibility to the work we do, enabling Carers to come forward with confidence.'
When the awards were initially announced on 2 June (the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation), Lord Petre, the Lord Lieutenant for the County of Essex, said, ‘I am delighted that the Rayleigh Baptist Church Carers Café has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen, as the winner of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.
‘Volunteers at Rayleigh Baptist Church Carers Café Ministries Team offer effective support and respite to carers and the support it extends to the carers and their loved ones is exceptional.’
With Lord Petre having retired in August, the RBC Carers Ministries Team received the award from his successor Jennifer Tolhurst on Tuesday, 12 September.