Essex community radio station Gateway 97.8 has been given a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The award for the organisation is equivalent of an individual being given an MBE and recognises the contribution made by a group of volunteers to their local community.
Only 112 groups across the UK have been given the honour, overseen by the Office for Civil Society, in the Cabinet Office. Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said: “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all this year’s winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The work of our volunteers makes a huge difference right across society, and they are an inspiration to others to get involved and make their own positive impact.”
Speaking about the Basildon radio station, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre said: “Gateway Community Radio are fitting winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. Although they started in 1999 they have had to overcome a number of obstacles to become an established and valued community radio station for Basildon and Thurrock. Gateway is led by three directors, two of whom are the founders and the station is run entirely by around 200 volunteers. Working for Gateway provides a volunteer experience for the young and not so young to develop skills, gain confidence and make a useful contribution to the community. In addition, Gateway provides educational and training programmes, enabling many young people to gain qualifications, provides local road-shows and a good and balanced local information service to the wider community. Gateway provides an exceptional community service.”
The station will get a certificate signed by The Queen and a commemorative crystal – both will be presented at a ceremony at a later date by the Lord Lieutenant. Representatives from Gateway will also be invited to a Royal Garden Party.