Press Release

The London Gazette has announced today that West Norfolk based charity Reach For a Star has been awarded with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the most prestigious award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and the equivalent of an MBE.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were 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. Only four awards have been presented to voluntary organisations in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire over the past three years.

Reach For a Star is based in King's Lynn and is run by James Lewis, Gary Clark, Shareen Hannan and Louise Ramasso; working with families in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, offering help to local children facing life changing medical conditions. Operating over the last five years, the charity has helped a great number of local children by assisting with the purchase of specialist equipment or therapies not readily available on the National Health Service.

The award will be presented later this year by the office of the Lord Lieutenant for Norfolk however; Trustees Shareen and Louise were recently invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace as part of the award.

Reach For a Star would like to thank our Patrons Mark Thompson and David Flux for their efforts and support in addition to those former members and trustees who helped build and positively contribute towards the difference that Reach For a Star has been able to make.

We would also like to thank Oliver Jeffers, Sally Butlin, Gordon Chilvers and the team at Double G, Alan Taylor and YLP, Jon Shooter and Glazing Vision Ltd, Nick Carter and CSS, Julie Ely and Dean Hunter at Kinnerton, Lindsey Wade and Gary Grant, Peter Whyborn and Julie Sands, Optical Vision Ltd, Vicky Self at Morrisons, Derek and Christine Russell and Sight For Sound, Fossils for Sale, Alan and Rachel Clubb and Alan Wright and the team at Swaffham Golf Club and staff at The King's Lynn Corn Exchange.

A big thank you to Les Miller, Phillip Bambrick, Andy Martin and Dez Calton and to Melinda Raker and Lady Kay Fisher.

We would also take this opportunity to thank our families and employers Swann Edwards Architecture Ltd, Roythornes Solicitors, The Department of Work and Pensions and The College of West Anglia for giving us the support, freedom and flexibility to run a registered charity.

Of course, we would also like to thank the general public whose fundraising efforts, time and support have been invaluable to us in trying to make a difference to local children and families.

Mr James Lewis (Chairman) said:

“It is an incredible honour to have been nominated for this award, let alone receive it after only five years of operation. Running a charity in our own time brings with it a number of complications for the four Trustees but this award validates our efforts and will hopefully provide us with a springboard to make an even bigger difference to the families that need help."

The Worshipful the Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor Carol Bower said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Reach for a Star has been honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a charity can win! My congratulations to the wonderful team. What a richly deserved accolade.”

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