The Rotary Telford Tree of Light Receives the Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service 2017
The Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Sir Algernon Heber-Percy KCVO, presented the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017, to representatives of the Rotary Telford Tree of Light on Thursday 18th October 2017 at The Telford Whitehouse Hotel.
Rotarian Paul Booth, Chairman of the Trustees, accepted the Award on behalf of the four Rotary clubs who organise the Telford Tree of Light – Ironbridge, Telford Centre, The Wrekin and Wellington.
He said, “For 21 years the Telford Tree of Light has been privileged to provide the opportunity for the people of Telford and beyond to remember their loved ones at Christmas, something we know they want to do. In addition, we have been very pleased to raise significant amounts of money for many well deserving local charities especially the Severn Hospice. The total amount will soon exceed £600,000.
This has only been possible with the considerable help of so many volunteers, especially Rotarians, over those 21 years. We are indebted to those who started the Tree of Light. Since then so many volunteers have helped in some way to make the Telford Tree of Light the success it is.
Many of the volunteers are here now. I am honoured to receive this prestigious award but the thanks and recognition go to each and everyone of you who have made it possible. A huge thank you to you all.”
Paul continued by mentioning the exceptional help and support that the Tree of Light receives from corporate sponsors. This enables the charity to pass on to worthy causes all the contributions received from the general public. He emphasised the importance of the relationship the charity enjoys with its major partners – Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, Telford Shopping Centre, Telford Journal, Telford Reprographics, Single Source and up to this year the Wellington Market Company – without whom the success of the Telford Tree of Light would not have been possible.
Paul added, “I am personally very moved to be standing here and receiving this award on your behalf. Thank you again for all your help and support and I look forward to 10,000 names around the tree and over £1 million raised for charity. Long may the Rotary Telford Tree of Light continue!”
The Tree of Light gives people the opportunity to commemorate the names of their loved ones. These names are then displayed around a Tree in the Telford Shopping Centre and in other locations around the borough of Telford & Wrekin. They are also printed in the local paper, the Telford Journal, and on the Tree of Light website. Over 5,000 names are now regularly remembered each year.
In addition to the opportunity to commemorate the names of loved ones, applicants are requested to donate a minimum of £5 per name to local charities – it has remained at that figure for the 21 years. Fifty percent of the funds raised are given to the Severn Hospice with the remaining fifty percent shared between local charities nominated annually by each of the four Rotary clubs.
Chair of the Telford Tree of Light organising committee, Rotarian Max Clowes. said, “The award of the QAVS to the Telford Tree of Light is superb news and rewards the hard work and dedication of Rotarians from the four Telford Clubs and recognises the support of the many volunteers and local organisations that sponsor the operation, enabling every penny raised to be donated to charity. During the 21 years of operation those donations have amounted to over £550,000 benefiting more than 50 local charities.”
He added: “Most of all we are indebted to all our supporters who so dearly wish to commemorate their loved ones at Christmas time. We look forward to continuing to provide this service in 2017 and for many years to come.”