The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service



Wickford, Billericay and Basildon volunteers recognised by The Queen with prestigious Award



Wickford & District Talking Newspaper from Basildon was one of 103 UK volunteering groups to win the 2010 The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups.

 The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service logo


The prestigious National Honour recognises outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups voluntarily devoting their time for the benefit of others.  It sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those awarded being judged of the highest standard.


Wickford & District Talking Newspaper has received the Award for recording and supplying a weekly Talking Newspaper to the blind and partially sighted people of Wickford, Billericay, Basildon and surrounding areas.

 Presentation by Lord Petre

Winners of this Award were selected from 341 groups nominated by members of the public who have been helped personally or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community.


Wickford & District Talking Newspaper received a certificate signed by the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty's representative The Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre at a special ceremony.  The group also received an invitation for representatives to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2010.


Speaking of their success, Mike Ballinger from Wickford Talking Newspaper said: “This award is a way of thanking all our many volunteers who help to produce our weekly recordings. We are thrilled to have been honoured in this way for the work that the Talking Newspaper has been providing for more than 30 years within the local community.”


The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Main Award Committee Chair and former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said,


“Outstanding volunteer groups across the UK all too often go without recognition for the truly amazing work they do, despite the vital part they play in helping bind our communities together.  It’s a great pleasure to celebrate the efforts of Wickford & District Talking Newspaper with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and help raise awareness of all they do for the benefit of others.”


More than 850 groups around the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man have now won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, over the eight years since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.