Eight voluntary organisations in Buckinghamshire have been honoured with a top award from the Queen.

From a community-run public library to a local food bank, the groups will receive the highest award given to local voluntary services, The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

The award was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's coronation and it is equivalent to an MBE for volunteer groups.

Lord Lieutenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher commended the groups and highlighted the fact that an estimated 60,000 volunteers serve in around 3,000 Bucks-based charities.

"This is a marvellous success for the committed volunteers of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes," Sir Henry said.

"I'm delighted so many organisations have been honoured, and thrilled at the diversity of worthwhile causes represented.

"This is a testament to the quality and commitment of the voluntary sector in the county."

Voluntary groups receiving the award:

  • Chalfont St Giles Community Library'
  • Chiltern Rangers community conservation group based in Wycombe'
  • DrugFAM, a lifeline for people affected by loved ones' addictions'
  • ICUsteps, a Milton Keynes group for patients who have been critically ill'
  • Into the Community foodbank based in Milton Keynes'
  • Meet and Mingle, a group providing healthy living activities, workshops and projects for women in and around Slough'
  • Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture organisation'
  • Rennie Grove Hospice Care, supporting people with life-altering illnesses'

'Volunteers underpin everything that we do'

Overall, 187 voluntary groups will receive the award this year and the presentations will take place during the summer.

Tony Hoare, chairman of the Chalfont St Giles Community Library, was thrilled the volunteers were receiving recognition for their work.

He said: “I‘m delighted that the work of our volunteers has been recognised with this award.

"The library is is entirely volunteer and around 50 residents give their time to provide the library and information service for the village.

"The excellent village and volunteer support for the library has enabled us to establish the Community Library as a much used and appreciated community facility.

"We have been able to increase the library’s opening hours by 70% to 34 hours a week.”

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, with its team of 1,500 volunteers, was also delighted to be recognised for providing care for patients diagnosed with cancer and other life-limiting illness.

David Coles and Barbara Brereton, volunteers with Rennie Grove Hospice Care

Jenny Provin, chief executive of Rennie Grove Hospice Care said: “We are so proud and delighted that our volunteers have been honoured in this way.

"Volunteers underpin everything we do at Rennie Grove and make invaluable contributions throughout the organisation.

"Without them we simply would not be able to provide our high-quality services to support adults, children and families in the local community coping with life-limiting illness.”