Top award for St Andrews charity

From left, Alison Miller, Jane Fraser, Morag Coleman (manager), Kathleen Mackenzie and Chris Johnstone
From left, Alison Miller, Jane Fraser, Morag Coleman (manager), Kathleen Mackenzie and Chris Johnstone

A local charity has been awarded the UK’s highest honour for voluntary organisations.

Families First St Andrews is to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2016 – and as well as a certificate and trophy, members of the team will be attending a Royal Garden Party in Edinburgh later this summer and joining in Patron’s Lunch on The Mall in London.

Families First provides services for children aged 5-16 years with additional support needs, and their families, throughout North East Fife, offering three core services of one-to-one befriending and children’s group work along with family support for adults. These services give children and their families the space they need to be themselves by providing opportunities for children and their families to explore the challenges they face and gain new experiences, in a safe environment with supportive staff and volunteers.

Families First has more than 80 volunteers, and a small team of staff.

That includes family days out, giving families a chance to come together to have fun and create lasting memories with each other.

Morag Coleman, manager of Families First said: “We could not deliver the services we do without the generous support of local people, either through their gift of time or financial aid. We are very lucky to work in partnership with so many local individuals and agencies to make our organisation the success it is.

“Many of our volunteers are University of St Andrews students who want to gain valuable work experience whilst giving back to the community they live in. For less than two hours per week our volunteers can make such a difference to the people they work with. We really appreciate applications to become a volunteer from local residents who can become involved in many aspects of the organisation from trusteeship, to service delivery, to administration.”

Next weekend Morag and Alison Miller will be attending the Patron’s Lunch on The Mall in St James’s Park. It’s attended by the charities of which the Queen is patron, and this year’s award winners to mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.

And next month Jane Fraser will join Morag at the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace, with other Queen’s Award winners.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local voluntary sector groups across the UK to recognise their outstanding work in communities.