Leeds charity Homeless Hampers 'overwhelmed' to win King's Award for Voluntary Service
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Today (November 14), it was announced that the charity will be among the first to receive the King’s award since his accession to the throne earlier this year. The honour is the highest a voluntary group can win and is equivalent to an MBE.
Tina Suryavansi, who runs the project with husband Aky, said: “It has been completely overwhelming. I got into the office at 7am and just stumbled across the email. I was frantically ringing the team to let them know we’re getting an award from the King.”
She added: “We had to keep it a secret for about a month. It's amazing that we'll be one of the first charities to get one of these awards. We're only small, but we're doing big things. I hope it will raise our profile so we can continue our work."
The charity launched in 2016 and is helped by retailers including Greggs, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Sainsburys, Aldi and Morrisons.
It is one of 262 organisations to receive the award this year, which recognises outstanding work that benefits communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.
Following his accession, the King emphasised his desire to continue it.
Recipients are announced annually on November 14, the King's birthday. Representatives of Homeless Hampers will received the award from the Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, before two representatives are invited down to London for a garden party at Buckingham Palace.