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Queen's Award

Queen's Award

Prestigious Queen’s Award won by Turning Tides

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and on the 2nd June it will be announced that this prestigious accolade is being awarded to - Turning Tides. We are one of just 230 selected organisations across the country who are to receive the award, which celebrates the huge contribution made by the voluntary sector to benefit the lives of others in their community.

Chief Executive, John Holmstrom is delighted:
“Our charity was founded on the sheer effort, spirit and tenacity of a group of volunteers who wanted to make a real difference to those locally who had nowhere to call home. This award is dedicated to them and all the volunteers we have had supporting us throughout our 28 years. Their dedication, passion and selflessness continues to be invaluable. Even now, when the nation faces it’s biggest crisis, our volunteers have reshaped the support they offer us and our clients.”

We are one of the largest providers of homeless services for single people in West Sussex, running 21 projects in various locations across the county. We have almost 300 volunteers and 140 paid staff supporting its mission to end local homelessness.

Our charity is currently seeing a steep rise in the need for our services across the county due to the Covid pandemic. Prior to Covid, we already supported 200 clients in residential projects and 245 homeless people through outreach work. Now, we are supporting as many as a further 150 homeless men and women who have been temporarily housed in hotels to protect them from the virus. This number is set to grow as the virus escalates financial hardship. These exceptional circumstances led us to launch our first ever Emergency Appeal asking for support from the community: www.turning-tides.org.uk/emergency-covid-appeal/

Our volunteers have had a big part to play in responding to the crisis and they continue to find new ways of supporting homeless men and women by batch cooking meals and delivering essential food, clothing and hygiene supplies. Turning Tides’ volunteers also offer much needed warmth, support and friendship to homeless people. Paul, a former client, recalls how precious the care and warmth he received from volunteers at St Clare’s Community Hub (Worthing) was:

“I had been living on the streets for 2 years. I was profoundly distressed, scared and alone when I came to St Clare’s for help… I recall the warmth and humanity of the volunteers in the kitchen. These memories still move me today at a time when I’m so relieved to say, my life is in good shape now.”

Community Development Manager, Alison Nicholson highlights, “The volunteering spirit truly thrives in our charity and we are thrilled to have this acknowledged by the award. In the last financial year (2019-2020) almost 300 volunteers collectively gave over 18,000 hours of their time to support our charity. For our volunteers to be recognised nationally for their outstanding energy and efforts in our community is wonderful.”

Representatives of Turning Tides will receive the award from Mrs Susan Pyper, Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex later this summer with the possibility that some volunteers might attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021.