15 charities across Wales honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Watch the full report by Richard Morgan...

15 organisations across Wales have received the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service for delivering exceptional service within their communities.

It is the highest award given to charitable organisations and recognises outstanding work by volunteer groups that benefit their local communities.

Among the recipients is Blood Bikes Wales - a 100% voluntary organisation, which provides a free delivery service to the NHS delivering blood, samples, medicines, medical equipment, donated human milk, and other items across Wales and beyond.

The volunteer-led group is one of 241 UK charities and social enterprises to receive the prestigious award this year.

Blood Bikes Wales delivered milk to Tabitha when she gave birth prematurely.

Award-winning volunteer groups in Wales this year include a children's hospice charity that provides care to life-limited children and support to their families throughout Wales, a mountain rescue team in Powys and a group of first responders who help attend 999 calls in Cardigan Bay.

The winners have carried out critical work to enhance the lives of others, from providing a safe and friendly space for disabled adults in Rhos on Sea, to bringing Scouting to children with illnesses across Wales. Many of those honoured have adapted their services to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and as the country recovers from the pandemic.

The award itself was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen's Golden Jubilee. Each year on 2 June, the anniversary of The Queen's Coronation, recipients are announced.

Any volunteer-led group comprising of two or more people having a positive impact on the lives of others in an exceptional way can be nominated for an award.

This year to recognise QAVS awardees that have managed a significant increase to their usual workload or provided extra support to the community during the pandemic will be given a special designation.

Blood Bikes Wales has been selected for this designation and will receive a special thank you as well as a slightly modified crystal award with the words 'with special recognition - Covid 19' included in the engraving.  

Last year Blood bikes Wales clocked up over 400,000 miles between the voluntary riders, ensuring supplies get to those in need in good time.

Nigel Ward is one of 24 'Blood Bike Riders' delivering vital supplies to those in need.

Nigel Ward, the Chairman of Blood Bikes Wales recalled how the charity survived during the pandemic, “2020 was an awful year for everyone and for charities, it's been very challenging.  As a charity, we are fortunate that not only have we managed to keep going but the goals of this charity to help our NHS aptly fitted the circumstances we found ourselves in.  I am absolutely delighted that the hard work and commitment of our volunteers has been recognised with this award.”

Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart said: “It is incredible that the volunteers and groups honoured in these awards have managed to pull together - even during the unprecedented year we have had - to help, look after and educate others across Wales

“Each and every individual and group receiving this award should feel extremely proud. Their kindness and generosity is palpable within the communities they serve and I congratulate them for their work.”