Top royal award for Morecambe volunteer counselling service

ACCESSleadLinda Chapman.ACCESSleadLinda Chapman.
ACCESSleadLinda Chapman. | jpimedia
A group of volunteers who run a support service in Morecambe have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Affordable Counselling and Caring Emotional Support Services (ACCESS) is a volunteer led charity working in mental health.

Its volunteers provide affordable and accessible counselling and emotional support to just about anybody aged six years and above.

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Its lack of strict criteria, short waiting time and affordability means that just about anybody can access the service.

The counsellors range in qualification from Level 4 to Masters. They all have insurance, BACP membership and are Enhanced DBS checked.

ACCESS is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The number of nominations has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

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The Queens Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

It was created 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year are very diverse, and include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving arts centre in County Down.

Representatives of ACCESS will receive the award from Lord Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, later this summer.

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Furthermore, two volunteers from ACCESS, will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s award

ACCESS lead Linda Chapman said: "We are delighted to be recognised for the counselling and emotional support we offer. Our volunteers have been recognised for all their commitment and hard work they have done within the community. The trustees Karen, Cheryl and Linda thank them whole heartedly."

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