ALISON Lester had a birthday surprise when she received a letter telling her that Noble’s Hospital volunteering services had won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.
Staff at the hospital are one of 130 winners of the award.
The award is the equivalent of the MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their local community for the benefit of others.
Noble’s Hospital volunteer service manager Alison Lester, from Belle Vue Park in Peel, is delighted with the award.
She said: ‘We are thrilled to receive this prestigious honour. The service was initially set up in the early 1990s as a welcoming service at the old hospital site at Westmoreland Road.
‘Some of the original recruits are still volunteering today. More than 70 people currently volunteer for Noble’s Hospital, and collectively donate, on average, 260 hours a week.’
This prestigious honour rewards outstanding voluntary contributions throughout the UK and Crown Dependencies and sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering.
They have received the award in recognition of the dedicated support provided to the hospital by members of the Manx public.
‘The Isle of Man is very fortunate to have people within its community who willingly donate their time to many and varied volunteering activities,’ added Alison.
‘It is through this support that we have been able to maintain and develop our services.’
Alison, 49, who said winning the award is her greatest achievement, will receive a certificate signed by Lord of Mann HM the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal presented by Her Majesty’s representative in the Isle of Man, the lieutenant governor Adam Wood, at a special ceremony to be arranged by Government House.
Mr Wood said: ‘I was delighted to learn of this well deserved recognition and would like to take this opportunity to pass on my thanks and admiration to the volunteers who provide much- needed support to those who use the services of Noble’s Hospital.’
Last week, Alison and her staff attended a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London.
Nine volunteer groups from the Isle of Man have now received this annual award since it was created by the Queen to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Alison’s proud partner, Mike Jones, said: ‘I am over the moon – she received the letter on her birthday.
‘I am so pleased and it is so nice for them to get something back from the community. I am so proud of her.’
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service award committee chairman, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE, said: ‘Volunteer groups make such an important contribution to their communities, often without praise for the incredible job they do. In these difficult times their efforts are even more valuable.
‘It’s a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of Noble’s Hospital Volunteer Services with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and give official recognition for the benefits they bring to other people’s lives.’