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The Queen leads a royal celebration of volunteers

The Queen hosted a reception on Tuesday evening at Windsor Castle to mark the centenary of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and met with many long-serving volunteers throughout the charity sector in the United Kingdom.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, or NCVO, was founded in 1919 and supports over 14,000 member organisations by “providing expert support and advice, by saving them time and money, and by keeping them up to date with the news that affects them,” according to its website.

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The Queen has long championed the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom. The Royal Family Twitter account noted that “an important part of The Queen’s work is to support and encourage voluntary service.” It added “Her Majesty is involved with over 600 patronages, which cover every area of the charity sector.”

The Queen supports the voluntary service as well through The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and the Commonwealth Points of Light Award.

Louise Munro, the Helpforce Young Volunteer of the Year, was one of those who give their time who met with The Queen at last night’s reception. She later told the Daily Mail that meeting The Queen was “the greatest moment of my life. I don’t think I will ever feel like that again.” Louise, who herself has a chronic condition, volunteers at local hospitals and spends a lot of time supporting the older patients and those who have had a stroke or who are on orthopaedics wards.

The Queen also spoke with 88-year-old Ron Knight, a volunteer with the West Suffolk Hospital. He later said “she asked me about my volunteer work and I told her how I worked with patients who are having injections in their eyes.

“She exclaimed, ‘That can’t be very nice!’ but said what a good idea it was to have someone to comfort them.”

Knight began volunteering at the West Suffolk Hospital in 2008 following the death of his wife, and volunteers three days a week.

Knight added that, “I’m a royalist. I would have walked from Suffolk if I’d had to” to meet The Queen.

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The NCVO began life in  1919 as the National Council of Social Service and has transformed the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom.  Age Concern, Citizens Advice Bureau and Community Matters are just a few established organisations that began as projects from the NCVO.

Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester also attended the reception last night, chatting with volunteers.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.