Volunteers for Caritas Diocese of Salford have received royal recognition for their incredible work across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
Our diocesan charity, which is supported by more than 260 volunteers, has been included in the very first King’s Awards to be presented since His Majesty’s accession.
This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
Rt Rev John Arnold, Bishop of Salford and chair of Caritas Salford, said: “This is a great achievement and an honour, and I am most grateful for the recognition of the excellent work done by our volunteers.
“These are very challenging times and all too many people in our local communities find themselves without the basic security of food and housing, or as victims of some form of discrimination or personal disadvantage.
“The work of our volunteers is a clear demonstration of care and compassion in action and has a very practical impact on the lives of people in need. What an important example they give in caring for our brothers and sisters and our common home.”
The King’s Award is presented to charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK, as a reminder of all the ways volunteers contribute to their local community and work to make life better for those around them.
Patrick O’Dowd, director of Caritas Salford, said: “It’s an incredible honour for our amazing volunteers to be recognised by King Charles in this way. We’re hugely proud and it really is testament to the selfless time and dedication every individual who helps our charity gives. Between them they dedicate thousands of hours every year to support Caritas and we’re so grateful for their support.
“It’s a real moment in history too, as this prestigious award is in the first tranche presented as The King’s Award, following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“We always thank our volunteers for everything they do to help us as we work alongside people experiencing crisis in our communities. But to have this wonderful recognition from the King is unbelievable – we’re very excited and it makes me proud to be part of the Caritas team.”
Volunteers from Caritas Salford will receive the award crystal and certificate later this summer and two members of the group will also attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May or June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
The news coincides with the launch of the charity’s Advent appeal, a key annual campaign to help raise awareness and funds as demand for its services grows. You can find out more now by clicking here.
Patrick added: “Demand for our services has arguably never been higher and as a charity we rely on the support of kind individuals, whether as volunteers or by helping in other ways such as sharing our news or making a donation. We’re hoping this latest appeal will spark people’s imaginations and spur them on to think about small changes they can make that would make a big difference to the lives of others in their community – just like our volunteers do.”