The Bridge for Heroes volunteers with their awards. Mike Taylor is front, right.
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A special presentation has been made to volunteers at The Bridge for Heroes after the charity received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Equivalent to the MBE (Member of the British Empire), the honour is the highest award given to UK volunteer groups.

The King’s Lynn-based charity, established 10 years ago, was recognised last month for the outstanding work of its volunteers in supporting veterans and raising funds.

An official presentation by Lady Dannett, the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, has been delayed by the pandemic, but the charity wanted to thank volunteers itself in the meantime.

Chief executive Mike Taylor presented them with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service pin badge and engraved paperweight in a socially distanced ceremony at the charity’s South Clough Lane centre.

Mr Taylor said: “It was great to see so many of our volunteers again after not seeing any of them face to face since the start of lockdown. 

“Although we hold regular online chat sessions, there is nothing like seeing individuals in person and being able to say a personal thank you for all the help and support they have provided us with in the past.” 

The Bridge for Heroes has supported well over a thousand veterans in a variety of ways over the years, from dealing with housing and benefits issues, to supporting those struggling with mental health problems.

Its dedicated volunteers are mostly drawn from the ex-service community and  play a vital role in fundraising. 

Volunteers carry out collections and are also the first point of contact for anyone entering the charity’s centre, providing a listening ear and practical support. 

During the pandemic, the charity quickly adapted to provide an outreach service to self-isolating veterans.

A separate team of volunteers, all specially trained and equipped with personal protective gear, also provided face-to-face help where it was needed, while a small, core team managed the charity from the Lynn centre.

• The charity marked Veterans’ Day at the South Clough Lane centre on Saturday.

Coronavirus restrictions meant they were unable to attend the usual ceremony held in Tower Gardens, but the charity’s core team still paraded and raised a flag to pay its respects.

Find out more about the charity at: www.thebridgeforheroes.org