The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service has been officially presented to the Community Minibus Association (West Sussex).
The ceremony was held at the Music Room, Champs Hill, Coldwaltham, and hosted by the Bowerman Charitable Trust.
Susan Pyper, Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, presented the exclusive commemorative crystal to Rodger Hunt, vice president and former secretary of many years, on behalf of the charity.
The award recognises the outstanding contributions made in the community by groups of volunteers and it is equivalent to the MBE.
The association is a registered charity that has been providing door-to-door transport services since early 1976. There are 13 minibuses operating across rural West Sussex from eight centres in Ashington, Billingshurst, Five Villages, Petworth, Pulborough, Storrington, Steyning and Wisborough Green.
It is run entirely by volunteers, in varying roles such as drivers, passenger escorts, booking staff, fleet managers, divisional organisers and others that ensure the day-to-day running of the charity.
Registered passengers are able to join regular trips to shopping centres, lunch clubs, seaside locations, social events and special excursions.
Those attending the presentation included president Sir Brian Barttelot, chairman Alistair Sheppard, VIPs from district and parish councils, more than 100 volunteers and some of the long-standing passengers who supported the proposal for the award.
Mr Sheppard said: “We are extremely proud and honoured to receive this award, which coincides with our 40th anniversary this year.
“Our tremendous group of unpaid volunteers help to maintain essential support to local communities across rural West Sussex.
“Passengers enjoy our friendly service and look forward to meeting both new friends and old during their trips. This award is a tribute to all the dedicated work by our volunteers, past and present.”
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