A group of volunteers in Suffolk town have been recognised for their exceptional voluntary work to their community.

HM Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk presented Halesworth Volunteers with their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the equivalent to an MBE for voluntary groups.   

The group were recognised for promoting well-being and overcoming isolation in Halesworth and its surrounding villages. 

Emma Healey, director of Halesworth Volunteers, said: “We have been around for nearly 40 years now and still serving the most vulnerable in the area. 

“To receive this award is just so amazing, totally extraordinary and it means the absolute world to us all involved with our services. 

“It was great to see our much adored and much loved Her Majesty’s signature. 

“It is an amazing honour, as a group operating in a small rural area, to be recognised by a national award, I am purely ecstatic and euphoric and so so proud."

Mrs Healey thanked the council and parish council for their help but said that her main thanks are to the volunteers.

She said: "We simply could not operate and therefore support and help vulnerable people in the area without our wonderful volunteers.

"This award is for them, it also extends to people who support volunteers in whichever capacity.

"It shows great strength in the community and we are proud to run a range of services to the most vulnerable people in our area. 

"We work alongside St Elizabeth Hospice, The Pear Tree Centre and other local organisations and individuals to ensure people get the help they need.

“Anyone looking to get involved with helping in various ways then please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.” 

Councillor Alison Cackett, ward member for Halesworth and Blything, was in attendance at the presentation on Friday, December 9, and said the group's volunteers work "tirelessly".

She said: “I am very pleased for the volunteer group to be acknowledged with this award, an award which is the equivalent to an MBE. 

“The group have worked tirelessly hard doing numerous things to help people in the town, especially during the pandemic.”