The award was presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Johanna Ropner.
Present was Sue Cawthray, CEO, Harrogate Neighbours, Stephen Wilkins, Hospitality Manager, Harrogate Neighbours, Gaynor Best, Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels Co-ordinator. Trustee representatives Mr Carl Hotson, Canon Michael Hunt and Simon Mckaness DL as well as staff and volunteers
Sue Cawthray received the award Crystal Award, a year on from Queen’s Award recognition, during an afternoon tea served on the grounds to 30 guests.
- Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels was established in 2012 by non-for-profit organisation Harrogate Neighbours
- Food Angels provide a meals on wheels service
- They were notified of the accolade in June last year, and lockdown measures delayed the formal handing-over
Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Johanna Ropner paid credit to the award:
This is the highest award that you can give to volunteers, it is the same as MBE.
It is a hugely valued award, and very difficult to be achieved.
It is a celebration of everything that has been achieved.
A team of dedicated people prepare and deliver over 150 fresh, hot meals every day to the elderly, socially isolated and people who were been forced to shield in North Yorkshire.
Due to its rising popularity and since being notified of the award last year, the Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels has launched the UK’s first ever meals on wheels loyalty scheme and now offers subsidised Afternoon Tea Treat Boxes where a £1 from each box is donated to local charity, Resurrected Bites.
Speaking on behalf of the Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels, Sue Cawthray, CEO of Harrogate Neighbours said:
We are delighted to have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. To be recognised to this degree is testament to our incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to deliver such an important service into our community.
The number of daily meals continues to rise as we support even more people in the community who were forced to shield as a result of the pandemic.
I am so thankful to the team at Harrogate Neighbours and look forward to being able to properly celebrate this wonderful achievement with Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, staff and volunteers.
Reg Pratt is 90 and at 89 he was still delivering meals, and probably would have continued had it not been for his family urging him to stop.
Reg’s wife Betty also delivered meals with a friend, up until around 4-years ago when health problems stopped her driving. She then joined Reg with his deliveries, and sadly died last year.
They were married for around 63 years, and Reg will tell you that never a cross word had between them.
Sue Cawthray, CEO of Harrogate Neighbours said:
Reg has been priceless over the years, the first to go out in bad weather, happy to help with extra days, nothing phased him.
He always entertained us with a song at all our meetings.
I personally hold him in very high regard as do many others I’m sure.
Mr Robert Jones, a client of the Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels said:
I look forward to receiving my meals from the Food Angels; it is very reassuring to have someone check in on me each day and the selection of meals is excellent and very well prepared.
The volunteers who deliver the meals are lovely people and our little chats brighten up my days.
All through the bad weather this winter they have never failed to deliver and they even brought me my lunch on Christmas Day, at the same time entertaining me with e Christmas carol. Thank you for the rays of sunshine they bring with the lunches.
To help support Harrogate Neighbours through volunteering, donating, fundraising, sponsoring an event or to join the team please visit www.hnha.co.uk or call 01423 888777.