What does it mean to win the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service? TAXI
finds out from a handful of those volunteers who helped make it happen...
Following the worthy announcement from the Palace, TAXI spoke with some of the charity’s volunteers about what it means to receive the equivalent of an MBE for volunteering. This is what they said…
Chairman, Taxi Charity - Ian Parsons
Everyone, at the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans is thrilled and delighted to win this prestigious award. We are also very proud too, knowing this is the highest honour that can be awarded to UK volunteer groups, the equivalent of an MBE.
A seminal moment for us and our supporters, volunteer drivers and the wider London black cab trade – whose help and generosity are entwined throughout our 73-year history.
Our charity and trade have never experienced a more difficult time, yet we can look back with enormous pride at our achievements despite the numerous challenges we faced during the pandemic. Ultimately it was the efforts of our many volunteers during these troubling and unpredictable times that resulted in the Taxi Charity winning this Award.
So, as I consider all we achieved together, my hope is the recognition the Taxi Charity receives from winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service also shines a light on our wider trade. By doing so it will demonstrate that even during times of extraordinary adversity such as these, the generosity of spirit of our supporters and my fellow cabbies remains undimmed.
I thank you all. You are a credit to yourself and your trade – London’s finest.
London Cabbie and member of the Taxi Charity Committee - Brian Heffernan
What an amazing honour for all the boys and girls to be recognised for all the hard work they do behind the scenes, with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It has been a difficult fourteen months and we are totally overwhelmed and humbled.
London Cabbie and member of the Taxi Charity Committee - Dennis Hayes
What an honour that our volunteers have been recognised with a Queen's award.
We are like a family and this award is for everyone past and present who has supported thousands of veterans over the years. As always, a huge thanks must go out to all our volunteer cab drivers, their families and everyone who gives their time to help us.
London Cabbie - Claire Zazzara
I feel so privileged to be part of the Taxi Charity. We are so lucky to be able to spend time with these amazing veterans and I know people who would probably pay to be part of what we do and meet these heroes.
I am brimming with pride that we have received the Queens Award.
London Cabbie - Kenny Healey
This is such an amazing award and I feel so very proud to be part of this wonderful charity. We have some amazing volunteers, but I want to highlight the amazing job that volunteers Dick and Susy Goodwin do, by creating fabulous cards and booklets for the veterans, planning all the events, and coordinating all the drivers. We missed so much last year due to the pandemic, and sadly lost too many veterans, so let’s hope that we can now get back to what we do best – taking our veterans to events and commemorations across the UK and Europe.
London Cabbie - Alan Osborne
I was absolutely delighted to hear the news. No charity deserves this recognition more than the Taxi Charity. The charity was formed in 1948 and this recognition also goes to all those who came before us and made the charity what it is today.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS)
The QAVS is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups and is awarded for life. It is awarded to outstanding groups of volunteers whose level of initiative and impact are truly exceptional. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community.