The Berkshire Lieutenancy

Lord-Lieutenant presents Honours and the King’s Awards for Voluntary Service 2023

Mr Andrew Try, Lord Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire presented Honours on behalf of HM The King on Tuesday 5 March at Windsor Guildhall.

The British honours system is one of the oldest in the world. It has evolved over 650 years as the country has found alternative means of recognising merit, gallantry, and service. Honours’ lists are published twice a year: at New Year and in mid-June. Anyone can receive an award if they reach the required standard of merit or service, and honours’ lists contain a wide variety of people from different backgrounds.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was instituted in 1917 by King George V to recognise all levels of service to the country during the war. It has evolved to embrace service and achievement in all fields and honours individuals in both civilian and military life.

The British Empire Medal forms part of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. British Empire Medals were re-introduced in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours after a gap of 19 years. This honour was brought back to recognise and reward the dedication and hard work that so many people provide to their communities.

The medal rewards achievements or contributions of very ‘hands-on’ service to the community in a local geographical area. This might take the form of sustained commitment in support of local charitable and/or voluntary activity, or innovative work that has delivered real impact.

Recipients receiving this award from the Lord Lieutenant are as follows:

From the Birthday Honours List 2023
Shula Tajima BEM (RBWM) For services to the Community in Berkshire
Jamie Thurston BEM (Wokingham) For services to Charity

From the New Year Honours List 2024
The Reverend Christine Blackman (Reading) For Services to the Community in Reading
James Gillett (Wokingham) For Services to the Community in Charvil and Reading

Mr Try also presented the King’s Awards for Voluntary Service, a major national honour, to two winning Berkshire groups awarded in November 2023.

The prestigious UK national honour is the equivalent of an MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their local community for the benefit of others. It sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of the Award winners judged to be of the highest standard.

My Cancer My Choices

Providing complementary therapies and support, to empower cancer patients, in Berkshire, to make active choices to improve their well-being, as they come to terms with their diagnosis. Specialists volunteer their time to offer a range of one-to-one and group therapies, which help manage the side-effects of conventional treatment and improve the mental health of patients.

The Ceremonial Wardens

The Ceremonial Wardens were established to support Thames Valley Police with event management at the Guard Change in Windsor, with particular reference to the supervision of the crowds who attend these events and work closely with Thames Valley Police.

These groups received a special commemorative crystal and a certificate signed by The King, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their local community. 89 groups from Berkshire have now won the King’s Award for Voluntary Service, formally the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, since it was created by Queen Elizabeth II to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

The Awards Ceremony was attended by recipients, volunteers and staff from the winning groups and civic dignitaries from across of the County.