Press Release – 2nd June 2016
A voluntary group from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, which provides safe drinking water and humanitarian aid worldwide to those in need has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
More than 70 volunteers from the local community attend the Aquabox depot each week to assemble the water filters or pack the boxes with humanitarian aid, ready for dispatch to countries suffering from the effects of disasters, whether natural or man-made.
Aquabox is managed and run by the Rotary Club of Wirksworth. In recognition of the award, Chairman of Trustees Mike Tomlinson and his wife Dianne, a fellow Aquabox volunteer, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 24 May 2016 hosted by the Queen, where they met with other winners of this year’s award. Mr Tomlinson said, “Everybody connected with Aquabox is absolutely thrilled with this accolade, which recognises the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers who selflessly give up their time to ensure this vital aid goes to places where it’s needed most.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis, said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The thousands of volunteers who give up their spare time to help others in the community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work within their communities. The award was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Aquabox will receive the award from William Tucker, the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, later this summer.
Aquabox is a charity affiliated to Rotary International and is based in Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Established in 1992, Aquabox has shipped over 110,000 boxes of humanitarian aid and filters to provide safe drinking water to communities affected by man-made and natural disasters in more than 50 countries around the world. The charity relies entirely on donations and fundraising to purchase the boxes and their contents. With over 70 volunteers and only one part-time administrator, the proportion of total donations contributing directly to humanitarian aid is amongst the highest achievable.