A CHARITY which helps blind and partially sighted people has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Sight Concern Worcestershire was presented with the award by the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Patrick Holcroft, at a special reception held in the marquee on Worcester Racecourse.

The Lord Lieutenant told guests: “I know that if the Queen were here today she’d congratulate all of you for the tremendous work and commitment you have shown to people in Worcestershire who have sight loss.”

He added: "The Award is the highest honour that can be given to voluntary groups; its status is equivalent to the MBE.

"It is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

"Congratulations to you all.”

Elizabeth Baio, vice chair of trustees, was presented with the official Certificate and a commemorative crystal on Tuesday, September 4.

She said: “Volunteers play a vital role in helping us to achieve our mission to support blind and partially sighted people to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

"We are a small team of 17 staff, most of whom are part time, and without doubt, we could not achieve all that we do without our team of over 200 loyal volunteers.

"We are fortunate to have volunteers with a whole range of different skills; some enjoy keeping people active and feeling like part of the community, others help out at our social activities, some record the Talking News, and some prefer assisting with the essential admin or fundraising that keeps the charity running.

"We are remarkably grateful for the ongoing support that we receive.”

She added: “This splendid event is a fabulous opportunity to thank all of our volunteers properly, as this award is really for them; our team of loyal volunteers who turn up and give their time to enhance the lives of people affected by sight loss.”