Derby Kids’ Camp, which has been providing countryside breaks to deserving youngsters for 50 years, has announced it has been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The equivalent to an MBE and the highest award given to local voluntary groups in the UK, the honour recognises outstanding work done in the local community.
Derby Kids’ Camp provides much-needed breaks to hundreds of youngsters every year from both the city and county – many who are living in poverty, have suffered a close bereavement or who are finding social interaction difficult.
Chairman Chris Edwards said: “We are absolutely over the moon to be one of the recipients of The King’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK.
“While the news would have been most welcome any year, it’s particularly poignant that it comes as we celebrate our 50th year of Derby Kids’ Camp.
“The award recognises the incredible work of the thousands of Kids’ Camp volunteers who, over the years, have supported the charity and made so many local children’s holidays possible.”
Chris has been chairman of Derby Kids’ Camp for 16 years but has been involved with the charity for much longer.
He said: “Over the years, Derby Kids’ Camp has welcomed more than 16,000 children to camp where, throughout the week, they get to take part in outdoor activities, crafts, sports and various trips.
“Holidays at Derby Kids’ Camp help to build children’s confidence and their independence but, more importantly, the children leave with lifelong memories of an amazing and much-needed holiday.
“Although Kids’ Camp holidays run throughout the summer, it’s a year-round project and our incredible team of volunteers work all through the year to prepare for the following summer.
“The volunteer organisation also shares its knowledge and experience with similar fledgling organisations across the UK to further increase the number of holiday opportunities nationwide.”
Derby Kids’ Camp is one of 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive The King’s Award for Voluntary Service this year.
Also among the recipients was The Friends of Derby Arboretum – Britain’s first ever public park, which is managed by Derby Parks, which is part of Derby City Council.
The award was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the award.
Representatives of Derby Kids’ Camp will receive the crystal award and certificate from the Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire and, next year, volunteer representatives from the charity will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, along with other recipients of this year’s award.