Queen honours chaplains

Beachy Head Chaplaincy volunteers SUS-140506-093755001
Beachy Head Chaplaincy volunteers SUS-140506-093755001

Chaplains credited for saving lives at Beachy Head but who face being disbanded because of a cash crisis have been honoured by the Queen.

The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team was named as one of 11 outstanding UK volunteering groups to receive thwe prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

This unique UK national honour was created over a decade ago by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and to recognise the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers; it has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals.

Also honoured locally was the Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Heartstart which provides a voluntary medical first response group.

The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, which helps find and assist those in distress or considering suicide at Beachy Head, is equipped, trained, and present on duty night and day.

Announcing the awards, Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society said, “Groups and organisations like those honoured are the key to inspiring the country to get involved in volunteering and make a difference in their community. I would like to congratulate all 111 organisations that have received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and I encourage others to participate and support groups like these in their local area.”

Those receiving the award this year were selected from over 300 groups nominated by members of the public who have seen the difference the volunteers have made to the lives of others or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community.

Winners will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenants in their counties at special ceremonies. The winners will also have the opportunity to attend one of her Majesty’s garden parties held at Buckingham Palace over the summer months.

It was revealed last week that the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team urgently needs £15,000 by the end of June and £50,000 over the next three months if it is to carry on its service at the notorious suicide spot.