Lord Lieutenant on hand to present Queen's Awards
THE VOLUNTEER equivalent of the MBE has been awarded to two East Lindsey organisations.
Coningsby and Tattershall Helping Hands and the National Coastwatch teams at Mablethorpe and Skegness have been presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
Helping Hands provides a vital service to people in the Coningsby and Tattershall area, providing the sick, elderly and disabled with the loan of medical equipment such as mobility scooters and other supports.
They also help with transport to and from doctors and hospital appointments.
The volunteers were presented with the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire at a special service on Sunday.
Chairman Debbie Money said: "It was a very emotional time and a massive accolade for all the volunteers.
"It is a really big thing for a rural area like Coningsby and Tattershall.
"We do what we do because it helps change people's lives.
"All the hard work is worth it when you think people in this community would not be able to get out of the house without us."
The charity was nominated for the award by former Lincolnshire County Councillor Betty Harvey.
Don Scarborough, the founder member of Helping Hands who now lives in Skegness, was also at the presentation.
Helping Hands initially started in 1977 when Mr Scarborough organised a street party to raise money for someone in need of a wheelchair.
This saw the group being turned into a registered charity in 1980.
The work of the charity is so vital that they currently have around 140 pieces of equipment out on loan.
The charity is completely self-funded through fundraising events and donations.
Volunteers with the Mablethorpe and Skegness National Coastwatch teams were also presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Tony Worth.
It was in recognition to the dedicated and valuable service these teams both provide to the local communities of Mablethorpe and Skegness.
At the ceremony held at the Bacchus Hotel in Sutton on Sea, messages of congratulations were read by Ian Whalley, trustee of National Coastwatch, from NCI Patron, Katherine Grainger, to the Chief of Her Majesty's Coastguards, all extolling the good works done by both teams.
Both teams are now looking for further volunteers to join their ranks.
Enquiries can be made at the local Coastwatch stations in Winthorpe, Skegness, and Sea View Car park, Mablethorpe.