Norfolk Schools Sailing Association, a group of volunteers based in Filby have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Norfolk Schools Sailing Association have inspired young people and adults to discover the joy of sailing since 1959. The teachers who founded the charity knew
the value of the sport for personal development. They wanted children to enjoy a life enhancing experience and even taught boat building in their schools. The charity continues to carry their vision forward.
Over the last 60 years, NSSA have taught countless young people to sail, many of whom have gone on to enjoy success in the sport. Volunteers work hard to maintain the training centre and to raise funds to update the boats and equipment.This ongoing process is vital to the association’s survival.
Norfolk Schools Sailing Association’s purpose is not simply to teach young people to sail but to equip them with valuable, transferable life skills. In particular, NSSA want to raise the aspirations, improve the life chances and increase the social
mobility of those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
Representatives from NSSA attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
NSSA is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.
Representatives of NSSA will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk later this summer.
NSSA’s RYA Principal, Jeremy Mills says: “We are delighted to have been honoured with this award. It is recognition of the outstanding commitment of our dedicated team of volunteers. It is also fantastic to receive the award in this our 60th Anniversary year as we launch a major appeal to secure the next 60 years.”