On Wednesday 4 September representatives of the Queen, including the Lord Lieutenant, visited the Round About Cafe to officially deliver the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to the cafe’s volunteers.
The presentation was attended by volunteers, councillors and the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Peter Baillie. Chair of the Radian Group, Carol Bode, said:
“I’m delighted to join our local community to celebrate the fantastic success of our dedicated volunteers at the Round About Cafe. A thriving community hub, the cafe has changed the lives of many since opening and the volunteers are the beating heart of the vibrant activity that takes place here. This prestigious recognition is testament to the hard work of those involved and I am so pleased to see their success celebrated.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest accolade given to volunteer groups in the UK, recognising the work of the Round About Cafe’s passionate volunteers. Set-up to provide a hub for the local community in Mansbridge and beyond, since opening in 2013 the cafe has supported 22 people into employment and engaged 50 people in health and wellbeing activities.
On presenting the award, HM Lord-Lieutenant Nigel Atkinson Esq, said: “It is a huge honour to deliver this very special award. I’ve been a judge since 2002 and your nomination stood out as pretty unique. I particularly like the line ‘a little not-for-profit cafe with a big heart’, which I think sums up your cafe perfectly. There are only 281 winners across the UK, so to be one of those 281 is pretty staggering, especially as you’ve been nominated by members of the public. In Hampshire the award started in 2002 and there have only been 43 winners. I want to congratulate you all on this award and I am thrilled that Southampton has been granted one.”
Gary Orr, Chief Executive of Radian, added: “We are all inspired by the work of our passionate volunteers who care deeply about their community and actively seek to give back to it. The Round About Cafe is so much more than a place to enjoy delicious coffee and cake, it’s a place to develop new skills, build confidence and take on new opportunities. This recognition celebrates the importance of the work our volunteers do, and we are thrilled to see them being championed.”
Find out more about the cafe at www.roundaboutcafe.org.