The Island’s Community Bus Partnership, a group of volunteers based on the Island, have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Currently the partnership provides nos 22, 24, and 32 buses, with the routes covering Newchurch, Apse Heath, Lake and Shanklin (22), Lake, Sandown, Yaverland and Shanklin (24) and Northwood, Gurnard and Cowes (32).
Community bus co-ordinator, Alan Stott, said: “We are delighted to receive this award and the recognition is for all of the voluntary drivers, past, present and future, that have given their time on countless cold and rainy days, to provide a much needed service for residents of the Island.
“All involved, including Richard and the team at Southern Vectis, as well as Stewart at the Isle of
Wight Council, are delighted that the hard work, dedication and commitment of our volunteers have been recognised, and thank those that nominated the team for valuing the difference they make to people’s lives.”
Founder of the project, Ian Ward BEM, added: “The service has continued throughout the pandemic, maintaining a vital service for isolated residents. Many volunteers have also helped with delivering medications and shopping for those isolating, and their hard work is more than worthy of this recognition.”
Representatives from the partnership will receive the award crystal and certificate from Susie Sheldon, Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, later this summer. Two volunteers will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this years’ award.
The Community Bus Partnership is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of HM the Queen’s coronation.