Royal honour for Prudhoe charity shop volunteers
A BELOVED linchpin of Prudhoe’s high street for 20 years has been honoured with the highest award possible.
Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
Representatives and volunteers from the Front Street charity shop recently attended a special garden party at which they were presented with their award by the Duchess of Northumberland.
The citation for the award described the impact of Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop across the entire community as ‘excellent’.
Established 20 years ago by Prudhoe Town councillor George McCreedy, the charity shop’s main focus is to provide funds for youth projects and activities.
The primary beneficiary is Prudhoe’s own much-loved East Centre.
But over the last year, 2,000 people aged between nine and 21 have received financial help.
The £29,000 donated went towards a range of activities, including providing football strips, enabling participation in organised sport and providing instruments and sheet music to set up a community band
The shop itself offers low- cost household goods to people in need and works with Isos housing to provide furniture to families displaced by fire or flood.
A dedicated team of 24 volunteers run the store and work experience is available for unemployed or retired people.
Some have found full-time employment as a result of their work in the charity shop.
Founder George McCreedy said: “When I opened the store I thought I’d give it six months and here we are 20 years later. I feel proud, not for me, but for the volunteers. Over the years they’ve raised hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
Around 300 volunteers and carers from Northumberland attended the garden party at Alnwick Garden on June 18.
The event was hosted by The Duchess of Northumberland, who said: “There are so many extremely generous and extraordinary individuals in Northumberland who give up their time, selflessly, to help others in need.
“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to them for the really valuable work they do.”