Volunteers from Heene Community Association were treated to a tea party to celebrate the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The association runs Heene Community Centre, which was one of five West Sussex recipients chosen for this year’s awards.
The announcement was made on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, and Joanna Barden, centre manager, organised the celebratory volunteers’ tea party at very short notice for Saturday.
She said: “I was delighted a large number of volunteers were able to join us to celebrate The Heene receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.”
Joanna and the trustees were also very pleased to welcome West Sussex Deputy Lieutenants Caroline Nicholls and Margaret Bamford, who were the assessors for The Heene’s application.
Mrs Bamford said: “I send warmest congratulations on a splendid achievement. I am so very pleased for you all and feel honoured to have been associated with such a truly fabulous initiative.”
Mrs Nicholls said: “I am so pleased that the centre will receive this well deserved award.”
Heene Community Centre is open seven days a week and offers a wide range of facilities, such as room hire, various leisure classes, an IT suite and the highly-regarded Café one22, all bringing people together in a modern welcoming environment.
Joanna added: “Heene Community Centre is very fortunate to have so many lovely volunteers who help at the Centre either daily, weekly, monthly or once or twice a year at our special events.”
Representatives of Heene Community Association will receive the award from Mrs Susan Pyper, Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex later this summer.
Mrs Pyper sent a message, saying: “The dedication and commitment of you and your team in developing and running your thriving community centre is truly impressive and inspiring, and there is no doubt that you very much deserve this prestigious award.”
The association has worked hard to build up the centre in recent years and John Rogers, previous vice-chairman, said the award was fantastic news.
He added: “Heene continues to go from strength to strength. When I remember what it was not that many years ago, well done and well deserved.”