PACE collects the Queens Award for Voluntary Service at the historic Westminster Abbey

Published September 29, 2021

Monday 27th October was the day we have been waiting for, since the announcement that PACE had been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

This phenomenal achievement was marked with a prestigious service at the historic Westminster Abbey, in Central London, where those who had been awarded a British Empire Medal, as well as the Charities that had been awarded the Queens Award, congregated to share in their successes, and the success of other organisations.

Two members of staff from PACE were invited to attend the service, Krishna, our founder and trustee, along with Sunil, our head coach, swapped tracksuits for formal wear as they made their way into London to collect the Queens Award, which is the equivalent of an MBE for charities.

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Despite hundreds of charities being nominated across the UK, we are delighted to have made the final list of 15 charities, deemed worthy of earning this prestigious title. The full list can be found on the London Gazette, where the news was officially announced.

Being nominated is a fantastic reflection on our most recent achievements, including most recently, our physical exercise and companionship services that we have brought online. This achievement is felt most sharing the news and hearing the reaction from our members, who have been dancing, cheering, crying, celebrating, flooding us with messages of support, and are well and truly over the moon with joy.

This award means that we are one of a very few number of charities that are allowed to use the Queens crown on our letterheads, as well as on our other promotional materials, highlighting the endorsement that has been handed upon our organisation. Further opportunities will spring up for the club and our services, so watch this space!

After receiving the award, PACE founder and trustee, Krishna Birdy, said…

We are so thrilled that all our volunteers have been recognised for the support they have given the club over the years. It is this support that has provided opportunities for our members to change their lives, empowering them to become more independent. Although the pandemic meant we were not able to deliver our sessions, PACE volunteers still managed to keep our members engaged by providing online support for their emotional and physical well-being and the special designation is recognition of this. Our members represent that section of the community which experiences isolation and marginalisation in any event and this pandemic only exacerbated this problem. However, by setting up PACE Pals, we have been able to provide an online platform for members to talk to each other, feel comfortable to discuss whatever is on their mind, have fun and socialise. We have also been delivering online exercise classes, adapted for all ability levels, and I’m pleased to say that there has been attendance by day centres for adults with complex health conditions. Dealing with mental health is just as important as dealing with physical health and I am delighted that PACE has managed to successfully address both, particularly in these difficult times – another testament of our wonderful volunteers.

Everybody connected to PACE knows the impact of our volunteers, how they drive the club and push our members to strive to be the best that they can. We look forward to celebrating with all of our volunteers on October 9th at Havelock. Until then, please take a moment to reflect on this once-in-a-lifetime achievement that has been made possible due to the hard work, positivity and dedication of an exceptional group of people.


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