On Thursday 7th December, His Majesty The King visited Ealing Broadway to meet six local volunteer-run community groups who are recipients of The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The King met with the community group leaders to find out more about the difference they’ve made in the local area, before enjoying a tour of the centre’s Christmas Market and speaking with local business owners.
The local recipients of The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS), formally The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), include:
- Descendants: A history and arts-based organisation aimed at developing children and young people mainly of African or Caribbean descent (QAVS 2019)
- LAGER Can: A litter action group for Ealing residents (QAVS 2021)
- PACE: A voluntary organisation promoting the inclusion of young disabled people in sports and leisure activities (QAVS 2021)
- Mael Gael: A Southall-based project for the elderly and for young people (QAVS 2021)
- The William Hobbayne Charity: Supports residents of Hanwell who are in need, hardship, or distress (QAVS 2022)
- Ealing Wildlife Group: A volunteer-run group focusing on protecting local wildlife (KAVS 2023)
The Award for Voluntary Service was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and shines a light on the work of voluntary groups from across the UK. Equivalent to an MBE, The King’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest Award given to local voluntary groups in the UK.
As part of the visit, His Majesty also met local business owners at the centre’s annual Christmas Market in the Town Square which is open until Christmas Eve. Returning for the eighth year, the Christmas Market offers a host of handmade gifts, crafts and decorations from local makers and independent business owners.
Thirty local school children from Christ The Saviour COE Primary School and a local Polish choir provided festive cheer for the event, with renditions of Christmas carols on Ealing Broadway’s Town Square stage.
Before departing The King made a visit to Santa’s Grotto, meeting the man himself and watching a signed dance performed by IMPACT Theatre Group. The group, which supports adults with learning disabilities, previously won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018.
Andrew Rollings, Centre Director, said:
“We’re incredibly proud to welcome His Majesty The King to the centre and to celebrate the brilliant local community and volunteers we have in Ealing. It really is a town where people come together to support others, which we’ve experienced first-hand this year with the incredibly generous volume of uniform and winter coat donations we’ve received as part of our ongoing ambition to provide initiatives that give back to our community and beyond.
“We truly hope His Majesty enjoyed his visit to the centre and left feeling inspired by Ealing’s community spirit, with a touch of festive cheer.”