Henfield Haven receives Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Lord Lieutenant for West Sussex Mrs Susan Pyper attended the Henfield Haven on Sunday 5 September to present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS).

Created in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, QAVS awards have been shining a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups for many years. Equivalent to an MBE, QAVS are the highest awards given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and they are awarded for life.

The award was made to the Henfield Haven in June last year but lockdown prevented the actual presentation until now. It recognises the amazing work by the Henfield Community and a group of volunteers that saved the Henfield Day Care Centre from threat of closure in 2015.

Renamed the Henfield Haven, it is now a vital community centre providing high-needs care for people living with dementia, carer support and company for those who are vulnerable or isolated. The Haven Café provides freshly cooked meals and snacks every weekday and these are available to the whole community. All this is run by a wonderful team of volunteers.

At the presentation, Mrs Pyper praised the work of the 60+ volunteers without whom the Haven would not have survived. She also thanked the Haven which became the operations centre for the Henfield Helpline during the Covid-19 lockdowns, providing much needed support to nearly 500 households in the local area and coordinating several hundred volunteers.

The picture shows the Lord Lieutenant Mrs Susan Pyper presenting the award to chair of the Haven Charitable Incorporated Organisation Digby Stephenson, along with Deputy Lieutenant Caroline Nicholls, High Sheriff Neil Hart, Ray Osgood (who nominated the Haven) and two volunteers: Liz Hodgson from the Garden Gang and café worker Michael Butlin.

Digby Stephenson