Hertfordshire charity that supports vulnerable people receives The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
The award aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities
A charity in Hertfordshire that delivers practical gifts to the elderly has been honoured with The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service with special recognition for its work during Covid-19.
Small Acts of Kindness delivers Warm in Winter gift bags to elderly, socially isolated and lonely people. The bags contain a large fleece blanket, thermal hat, gloves, socks, a mug with coffee, tea bags, drinking chocolate and cup-a-soups.
The charity works in partnership with more than 90 organisations from the voluntary, corporate and statutory sectors and more than 300 community volunteers who show great commitment to their cause.
Its mission is to reduce the negative impact of loneliness and isolation on the physical and mental wellbeing of older people - particularly those who are cold in their homes.
Its primary activity to achieve this is sourcing and distributing practical gift bags and helpful information packs to their recipients. Additionally, it seeks opportunities to connect communities with kindness.
One volunteer for Small Acts of Kindness said: "As I was packing the bags I knew each bag would bring a smile to somebody's face and that makes volunteering so worthwhile."
Since the charity was set up just six years ago, it has reached more than 45,500 older people identified as being cold in their homes - many having to make the difficult choice between heating and eating.
Small Acts of Kindness is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year - the award is the highest a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Lynne Misner, chief executive of Small Acts of Kindness, said: "We are absolutely thrilled and delighted that the hard work and dedication of our volunteers has been recognised with the highest award any charity can receive in the UK.
"Everything we do is led by our wonderful family of volunteers and this award recognises their efforts above all."
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of The Queen's Coronation.
Representatives of Small Acts of Kindness will receive the award crystal and certificate from Robert Voss CBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire later this summer.
Two volunteers from Small Acts of Kindness will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 - depending on restrictions at the time - along with other recipients of this year's award.