A right royal celebration recognised those who stepped up during the pandemic
Volunteers and staff from charities and organisations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent celebrated in style at a special Jubilee Garden Party.
The event at the County Showground was hosted by Staffordshire Lord-Lieutenant Ian Dudson.
Among the guests were representatives from Caudwell Children, Lichfield Food Bank and Stoke youth charity Ruff and Ruby.
Mr Dudson said: “Our garden party was a real success and a wonderful way to celebrate this historic event. It was also a great opportunity to bring together and thank the thousands of amazing volunteers and community groups who give up their time to help in their local communities.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic we saw many of these groups stepping up to help others in need. This is our way of thanking and showing our appreciation for everything they have done.”
Many of the charities worked above and beyond during the pandemic and lock-downs, which left many people vulnerable.
Dawn Reynolds, CEO and Founder of Ruff and Ruby, said: “We were very honoured to be attending the garden party as a local urban youth charity, who support thousands of vulnerable young people per year across Stoke-on-Trent.
“During the pandemic we emerged with a Doorstep Doorstop support plan continuing to support vulnerable young people with TLC tubs for teens in poverty and 121 doorstop mentoring for young people with mental health.”
Richard Shenton, from Cauldwell Children added: “It was a great honour for Caudwell Children to be invited to attend the Jubilee garden party and I represent a charity that worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure families with young children with disabilities still had a voice and also received essential equipment during those difficult times.”
Angela Bickley, from Lichfield Foodbank said: “We have managed to continue our service of providing emergency food parcels for those in need, throughout the pandemic, whilst maintaining the safety of both clients and volunteers.”
Other organisations at the event included GP surgeries, health providers, hospital staff and volunteers, care home staff, care workers, volunteers working on Covid-19 and public sector staff.
Debbie Melling, East Staffordshire PCN Vaccination and Community Manager said: “We welcomed the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all involved at the centre. The pandemic has created a social network for the community of East Staffordshire with a shared vision as one big community family. We have shown that by working together, we are not only better, but we are also far more resilient. We hope going forward we can together continue to make East Staffs a stronger, healthier and happier place to be.”
Julie Roberts, Children’s Community Care Service Manager at Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT) said: “After the difficult time we have all had in the NHS and for the public during the pandemic, this feels like a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate what will be an historic event with colleagues, family and friends.
David Harris, a regular volunteer at Perton-based Kingswood Trust and Chairman of the Board, said: “The Kingswood Trust was honoured in 2019 by being awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and this has helped sustain our staff and volunteers who were called upon to feed and care for our animals, maintain our grounds and buildings whenever possible while we all endured the varying restrictions caused by the pandemic.
“As Chair I felt honoured that the Kingswood Trust should have received such a prestigious award, and this helped us all keep our spirits up from the outset. I was equally thrilled to be invited to the Staffordshire Jubilee Garden Party which hopefully indicates that this might signal the end of Covid and a return to normality. In any case a lovely occasion that will certainly remain with me for years to come.”
Alan White, Leader at Staffordshire County Council he was delighted to see so many people joining in the Jubilee Bank Holiday celebrations to mark the Queen’s remarkable 70-year reign.
“We have wonderful community spirit in Staffordshire and a vibrant voluntary sector all helping to make Staffordshire people’s lives better,” he added.