Computer Friendly in St Albans recognised with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Computer Friendly trustees pictured earlier this year after being shortlisted for the Queen's Award

Computer Friendly trustees pictured earlier this year after being shortlisted for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Picture: Computer Friendly - Credit: Archant

St Albans-based charity, Computer Friendly, has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Computer Friendly, which has been running since 2002, works in St Albans and Harpenden to provide free or low-cost digital advice and training in the community, with the aim of stamping out loneliness.

Chair of the trustees Tony Bourke said: “We are delighted and immensely proud to receive the award. It is a tribute to all the volunteers, both past and present, who have dedicated their time and effort in helping adults in the St Albans and District area.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Tony added: “We owe a great deal of thanks to Good Things Foundation, St Albans District Council and Herts County Council who have given us tremendous support over the years.

“We have also been supported by some great establishments such as Skew Bridge Pub, Fleetville Community Centre, Marshalswick Baptist Free Church, Marlborough Science Academy, Harpenden and St Albans Libraries and more.”

Computer Friendly underwent a rigorous process of assessment over several months last year, carried out by the Deputy Lieutenants of Hertfordshire followed by a national assessment along with other charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups from across the UK.

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The Independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, said the work Computer Friendly does for the community was very much admired by the committee, and they were delighted to select them as a recipient for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2020.

Winners of the Queen’s Award receive a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives are invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021.

Last year, around 50 Computer Friendly unpaid volunteers gave over 10,000 hours of their time.

The Lord Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE, said: “This award is equivalent to an individual honour for exceptional service to the community.”