Garden party celebrates the fine work that carers and volunteers do

A special garden party was hosted by The Duchess of Northumberland on Thursday afternoon to thank carers and volunteers in the county.

Friday, 23rd June 2017, 07:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 07:46 am
The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. The Duchess of Northumberland presents the Queens Award for Voluntary Service to Glendale Agricultural Society Picture by Jane Coltman

The event was laid-on by The Duchess in her role as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland to recognise the valuable contribution that volunteers and carers make to the local community.

The garden party was staged at The Alnwick Garden and 300 volunteers and carers were invited, along with their partners/guests.

The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. Christine and Robert Fife from Lucker PCC. Picture by Jane Coltman

This year’s celebration was the fourth of its kind and is thought to be the biggest in the region.

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Fittingly, the event took place during National Carers Week 2017, which aims to raise awareness of the UK’s six-million unpaid carers, as well as celebrating the incredible contribution they make.

During the event, and on behalf of the Queen, the Duchess presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to three voluntary organisations: Glendale Agricultural Society, Northumbria Blood Bikes and Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop.

The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities.

The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. Viscount Ridley with Mary Aitchison and Helen Tait from Bloodwise. Picture by Jane Coltman

Margaret Brown, from the Wooler-based Glendale Agricultural Society, was delighted with the honour.

She added: “It’s absolutely tremendous for us to be invited, there’s such a lovely atmosphere here.

“It means an awful lot being here. I think volunteers are the unsung heroes oiling the wheels of society.”

Other groups to be represented included the Bloodwise North Northumberland Fund-raising Group.

The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. Picture by Jane Coltman

Volunteer Helen Tait said: “It has been a lovely event and it is nice to meet other people from other charities.

“It’s a really nice acknowledgement of what our charity does and it is nice to see the volunteers acknowledged for what they do individually.”

The garden party was sponsored by numerous businesses, including Greggs and Fentimans Ltd.

The Duchess said: “There are so many extremely generous and extraordinary individuals in Northumberland who give up their time, selflessly, to help others in need,and frequently go unnoticed.

The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. The Duchess of Northumberland. Picture by Jane Coltman

“This was our way of saying thank you to them for the really valuable work they do.”

The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. Christine and Robert Fife from Lucker PCC. Picture by Jane Coltman
The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. Viscount Ridley with Mary Aitchison and Helen Tait from Bloodwise. Picture by Jane Coltman
The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. Picture by Jane Coltman
The Garden Party for the countys unsung heroes at Alnwick Garden. The Duchess of Northumberland. Picture by Jane Coltman