We were honoured to welcome the volunteers and supporters of a very special Northumberland charity last month.
Managers at Bell View, Belford, decided to treat volunteers and supporters after the charity was given the prestigious Queen’s Award in the summer for its care work with older people.
The award is the highest a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to the MBE. Bell View was the only voluntary organisation in Northumberland to be given the award in 2019.
To mark the occasion, Bell View managers wanted to do something different by hosting a celebration at very special place to echo the significance of the award.
Paul Harrison, Centre Operations Manager, said: “We decided we needed to celebrate it in a special way with volunteers and supporters. One of our trustees had already been here for another event and recommended it. It looked a good place to celebrate our award. It’s close to where our volunteers and supporters live, so they didn’t have to travel too far.”
Bell View offers a range of health, well-being and social activities from its resource centre in Belford. It also provides day care and support to people in their own home, with 50 volunteers involved.
It was formed in 1998 when the community stepped in after the County Council decided to close Bell View residential care home and remove its services. Remarkably, Ellingham Hall’s owner, Aidan, was one of those who took an integral part in saving the centre by being on the first board of directors. He later stepped down in 2001.
The volunteers and supporters were treated to fine food and entertainment and Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland, John Lovett, made a short speech to congratulate everyone for their achievement.
Mr Harrison added that he was delighted with Ellingham Hall and thought the venue was the perfect setting. He commented: “The food was fantastic. It was a lovely place to treat our volunteers and supporters. It was the right place to come because it is different to the type of place we would normally go, and the right size for us. We had a lovely and memorable time.”
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