We are honoured to be the recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) for 2017, which recognises charitable organisations and their volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the local community.

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Michele Price, the Chief Executive of the Nightshelter (as it was then), and Mrs Marion Fletcher, volunteer Treasurer at the time, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, June 1st 2017, where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award. Described as the equivalent of an MBE, the QAVS is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

Michele Price, said: “It is wonderful to see our volunteers recognised for their ongoing and selfless support. Without them, we would not be able to provide our extensive service to those suffering homelessness in Hampshire. The Nightshelter operates with just 12 mainly part-time paid staff: our volunteers are the beating heart of the organisation.”

“It was such a massive honour for Marion and I to be presented to the Queen on behalf of all our amazing volunteers. We had a really good chat about the work we do – and how the service has evolved from mattresses on the floor in a different venue every night, to our current base in Jewry Street where people are supported with a massive range of services to help them prepare for living independently.”

The Winchester Beacon would like to extend our warmest thanks to all of our volunteers for giving up their time and offering such wide-range of expertise to us, which saves us, on average, around £108,000 per year, that we would otherwise have to spend on staffing costs.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was first announced in 2002 to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation and beneficiaries are announced each year on June 2nd. A signed certificate from Her Majesty the Queen and a domed glass crystal was presented by the Lord Lieutenant to the Winchester Churches Nightshelter in September 2018.