The GEM Appeal receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Date published: 03 June 2019


The GEM Appeal, a group of volunteers based in Rochdale, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The GEM Appeal raises money to purchase diagnostic equipment to enable the doctors and scientists at the Willink unit at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to research, diagnose and treat children and young people with rare genetic and metabolic disorders which were previously incurable and prematurely ended many children and young people’s lives.

Because of the money raised by the GEM Appeal, children are living longer healthier lives and the future is more positive for those diagnosed now.

The charity’s aim is to one day see these disorders relegated to the medical history books and the devastation they cause be ended.

Representatives from The GEM Appeal attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Representatives of The GEM Appeal will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire later this summer.

 

Karen Johnson accepts Special Recognition Pride of Britain Award from Gary Barlow and Howard Donald, Take That
Karen Johnson, GEM Appeal chairman, accepting a Special Recognition Pride of Britain Award in 2016

 

The GEM Appeal’s Chairman, Karen Johnson says: “I am proud and delighted that The GEM Appeal’s work has been recognised this way. The GEM Appeal’s success is all down to the hard work and commitment by our volunteers who tirelessly fundraise to enable the purchase of diagnostic equipment for the Willink Genetics unit at The Royal Manchester Children’s hospital. Our volunteers are very special people who ask for nothing in return apart from the knowledge that they are making a difference.”

The GEM Appeal is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year.

The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Winners are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse and include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.

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