Loughborough-based charity Peter Le Marchant Trust has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for its work providing boat trips for the disabled and seriously ill. The special award, often called a collective MBE for charities, was announced over The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.
The Peter Le Marchant Trust was founded in 1977 and is the longest-running organisation of its kind in the country. In the thirty five years since it was established – in the year of The Queen’s Silver Jubilee – the Trust has helped over 120,000 people enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the waterways with their families and carers.
The charity organises day trips and four-night holidays on the local canals and the Rivers Soar and Trent for disability and care groups from the Midlands and beyond. It also enables families with seriously disabled children to enjoy week-long self-drive trips, helping them to take an interesting and unusual holiday away together. Each year over 4,000 people use the Trust’s boats.
The Trust relies upon donations to carry out its work and uses a team of over sixty volunteers to skipper and crew its boats. All are trained to Maritime & Coastguard Agency standards.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is an annual award made to recognise and reward excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. The Award was introduced in 2002 as part of celebrations for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service. The Award enables the Peter Le Marchant Trust to use an exclusive logo.
Chief Executive of the Peter Le Marchant Trust, Charles Grace, said:
“Everyone at the Trust is delighted and honoured to receive this Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It is an amazing recognition of the hard work of the Trust and its volunteers over the last 35 years, and for the contribution they have made to the lives of others in our community. To receive it in this Jubilee year will make our celebrations all the more special.“
Volunteer skipper and Trustee Charles Moore said:
“My involvement with Peter Le Marchant Trust has been some of the most rewarding time I have ever spent. I am sure I speak for all the volunteer team in saying that it is a fantastic organisation which provides much pleasure to 4,000 deserving people of all age groups every year. The Queen’s Award means a great deal to all of us.”
Derek Gee, Chairman of the Keyworth and District Community Concern Trust, which runs two community buses and a Day Centre for elderly and disabled residents, said:.
“Each year our group enjoys an annual trip on Peter Le Marchant Trust’s wonderful boat “Symphony”. Each year the trip becomes more popular and we are often oversubscribed. Our members particularly enjoy being able to get out and see the local spectacular scenery. The work of the Trust is incredibly valuable and everyone is thrilled that it has won recognition with a deserved Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.”