Volunteers at the project which supports rough sleepers have spoken of their delight after receiving the royal seal of approval for their outstanding contribution to the community.
The Weymouth-based charity The Bus Shelter Dorset received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award available for local voluntary groups.
Equivalent to an MBE, the award was created in 2002 to recognise contributions made by local volunteer groups: each year, on June 2, recipients are announced to coincide with the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
The Bus Shelter Dorset has been based in Weymouth since 2018 and provides support for rough sleepers. Volunteers spend their time helping those locally who sleep rough or are about to sleep rough, on ‘The Next Stop’ journey.
The first stop is from the streets and into safe, transitional accommodation with access to specialist care and support. ‘The Next Stop’ for the Bus Shelter guests, is a move to more permanent, independent housing and ultimately, employment in the community. The 24/7 helping hand of the Bus Shelter family is available every step of the way.
Emily McCarron, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Bus Shelter Dorset, said:
“Our volunteers are the backbone of the Bus Shelter Dorset family. Every day I am humbled to see the life changing work our volunteers and services provide to help people transition to a better life.
“All our staff and volunteers work tirelessly over and above expectations to provide the support and care our guests deserve. We are so thankful and proud of their continued, valuable support. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services is a well deserved recognition of just how important their contribution is.
“We are truly grateful for the support from our wonderful volunteers past, present and future plus all those who make Bus Shelter Dorset a success, including our staff, partners, funding from Dorset Council, local businesses and individuals. Without them, we simply could not provide our wide range of services for those affected by homelessness.”