LONDON: The prestigious Queen’s Award
for voluntary service has been presented to the Indian community-led charity in
England ‘DreamSai’, Milton Keynes.
Countess Howe, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire presented the
award and a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen to DreamSai. The High
Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Deputy Lord Lieutenants, Mayor of Milton Keynes,
Councillors, Charity partners, Faith organisations volunteers and a diverse
range of guests attended the celebration on October 16.
Laxman Kastala, founder & chairman of the charity said they had humble
beginnings four years ago with only a handful of people but there are more than
150 dedicated volunteers now.
“As an inclusive group, the charity very quickly developed positive
partnerships with many other national & local organisations to collaborate
and provide joined up services to widen the reach and impact while minimizing
the duplication,” he said.
In 2002, it was decided by Her
Majesty that there should be a new award to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of
her accession to the throne in 1952. The award is given for outstanding
achievement by organisations in the United Kingdom who volunteer their own time
to enhance and improve the quality of life and opportunity for individuals or
other groups in the community.
Countess Howe in her speech said
in the last three years, the charity had been able to rapidly respond to gaps
in provisions for vulnerable people across the town of Milton Keynes. “With the
onset of the Covid 19 pandemic they immediately created effective new projects
to reach out and support those in need, all of which was achieved solely by
volunteers,” she said.