Learning disability charity, MK SNAP has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
This award is the highest honour that can be bestowed by the Queen to a charity or voluntary group and is the equivalent of an MBE.
MK SNAP’s CEO, Angela Novell said: “The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is an incredible recognition of our volunteers and their dedication to transforming the lives of people with learning disabilities.”
Michael Bracey, Chief Executive, Milton Keynes Council said: “Milton Keynes Council would like to say a huge well done and congratulations to everyone at SNAP for this amazing award”.
Helen Whalley, who nominated MK SNAP, after the support her brother Matthew Fegan, has received at MK SNAP said: “I’m really happy to hear this amazing news.”
MK SNAP started almost three-decades ago. Parents, whose children had nowhere to attend after special school, started the learning and skill-building charity in Kiln Farm with the support of Milton Keynes Community Foundation. Today over 140 people with learning and physical disabilities attend MK SNAP.
Peter Wilson, a former charity Trustee, who dedicated his time, expertise and financial support to the charity with his wife, Jane, said they are “thrilled and delighted”, MK SNAP has be honoured with the award in recognition of the volunteers behind MK SNAP.
Mr Wilson added: “It’s a great honour that has been awarded for the outstanding work and commitment of the unstinting work by the trustees, team and volunteers whose expertise and commitment ensure the future of the charity and it’s very special clients.”
It’s thanks to the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of Milton Keynes’ community that £1m was raised towards MK SNAP’s purpose-built Walnut Tree centre opened in July 2008.
Each year MK SNAP provides CSR days for over 135 volunteers from across the business community equating to over 2000 volunteering hours.
Every day volunteers play a vital role in enabling people with learning and physical disabilities to take part in the skill-building sessions at MK SNAP and gain valuable skills and confidence to live a rich, purposeful and happy life.
Volunteer Norma Evans said: “I’m so proud to be part of SNAP and thrilled that our work has received this very special award. Being a volunteer is extremely rewarding and appreciated by the learners and the organisation. They make you feel like one of the family. I’d encourage anyone with a few hours to spare to try it.”
Volunteer, Geraldine Thomas said: “My heart wants to make a difference in the learners’ lives but it is the learners that make a difference in my life, my second family.”
Joanna Millington-Wallace said: “As a regular volunteer at MK SNAP, it is extremely pleasing to hear that MK SNAP has been selected for the Queens volunteering award.
“I help in the learners’ classes, which are always interesting and fun for learners, teachers and volunteers alike.
“It is very gratifying when one of the learners masters a new skill and we can see their confidence growing.
“The atmosphere at MK SNAP is always friendly, and I intend to continue helping there for as long as I am able!”
To support the volunteers and work of MK SNAP please go to https://mksnap.org/get-involved/