We are delighted that Help 4 Homeless Veterans, a group of ex-military volunteers, based in South Yorkshire, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award. This is the highest award a voluntary group can achieve and is equivalent to an MBE. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Efficiency North have been committed supporters of the Help 4 Homeless Veterans since 2015, providing £15k grant funding for their activities with members Bernelsai Homes and St Leger Homes through the EN:Able Community Investment Fund. They won the EN:Able Communities Community Initiative of the Year Award in 2017 and accompanying grant of £7.5k. Most recently an Efficiency North staff team of EN:Joy Riders raised funds for the charity running the Sheffield 10k in 2019. Efficiency North’s Corporate Communications Manager, Liz Butcher, was appointed to the Help 4 Homeless Veterans Board of Trustees in 2017 and has since then given both her professional and personal time to support the development of the charity and its governance.
H4HV helps former members of HM Armed Forces who are facing homelessness throughout England and Wales. It is one of 230 UK charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year, but only one of two in South Yorkshire. The number of nominations has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down. Representatives of HELP 4 HOMELESS VETERANS will receive the award from Andrew Coombe Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire later this summer. Two volunteers from H4HV will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Steve Bentham-Bates, the charity’s CEO, said: “We are a small but highly effective charity specialising in helping homeless ex Service personnel, our work has been recognized by other awards but this one makes us all so proud of our work, it pays tribute to all the hard work and commitment of our team of volunteers over a number of years.”
Liz Butcher, Efficiency North Corporate Communications Manager and H4HV Board Trustee, said, “I’m very proud to be part of this incredible charity, whose small band of volunteers deserve the highest recognition for their dedication to, and achievements for, homeless veterans. I’m also grateful for Efficiency North’s support, which has enabled me to give my time to serve H4HV as a Trustee, a role which I very much enjoy.”
Lee Parkinson, Chief Executive of Efficiency North, who formally endorsed the charity’s nomination by former Berneslai Homes Chief Executive, Helen Jaggar, said, “Efficiency North is proud to support Help 4 Homeless Veterans and delighted that they have received such well-earnt recognition for their outstanding work in our region. Efficiency North support and encourage all staff to volunteer within communities served by landlord membership, in line with the consortium’s core values - We Give, We Care and We Make It Happen Together.”