Sanctus Homeless Charity receives The King’s Award for Voluntary Service

Sanctus Homeless Charity based in Chelmsford, have just been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

Sanctus Charity of Broomfield Road have been operating for 12 years and provide a free Café, Day Centre and Support Hub for anyone who finds themselves experiencing hardship, be it through homelessness, financial struggles, addiction, isolation or poor mental health. They are open 6 days a week and have no barriers to entry meaning anyone over 18 can immediately access food, practical support, advice and shelter during the day. The cost-of-living-crisis has seen a steep rise in vulnerable individuals accessing their provision with up 105 people coming through their doors on a daily basis. Their volunteers undertake a wide variety of essential roles including professional counselling and addiction support, welcoming and serving visitors, collecting food donations and cooking nutritious meals.

Emma Hughes CEO of Sanctus says “It is both an honour and a privilege for our largely volunteer led charity to receive this award. Our volunteers give their time so freely to those in need and for that we are incredibly grateful.”

Sanctus is one of 262 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Their work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them. The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty the King emphasised his desire to continue the Award.

Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse and include volunteer groups from across the UK, such as a social support network for disabled adults in Banffshire; a charity using a refurbished pool as a community hub in south Wales; volunteer doctors providing pre-hospital care across rural Cumbria and a village renewal organisation promoting sustainability, equality and social inclusion in County Antrim.

Representatives of Sanctus will receive the award crystal and certificate from The Lord Lieutenant of Essex-Jennifer Tolhurst and in addition, two of the Sanctus team will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Barry Ansley, Chair of Trustees says “We are absolutely thrilled to receive the Kings Award for Voluntary Service. Without our wonderful volunteers none of this would have been possible. Using our help all approach we have been able to touch the lives of so many people in need. We are proud to say that Sanctus are part of the solution to the revolving door culture that our service users experience for most of their lives.”