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An announcement was made on 2nd June on the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation in the London Gazette that Devon Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Services, a Devon wide charity offering specialist support to survivors of sexual violence, has received The Queens Award for Voluntary Services.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to UK volunteer groups, being equivalent to the MBE. The prestigious award recognises exceptional work done by volunteer groups in their communities. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community.

‘The Trustees of Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services are delighted and recognise what a huge honour it is to be assessed and acknowledged in this way’ said Co-Chair Kate Pattar ‘We know what a professional and effective organisation it is and for the work done here to be nationally recognised is wonderful news.’

There was a garden party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate achieving the award and two members of the Devon RCSAS team attended.

‘Attending the garden party at Buckingham Palace was a thrill’ said Mandy Barnes Volunteer Manager ‘but because not everyone had the chance to go to the palace we also wanted to find a way to recognise this marvellous achievement with the whole organisation. We are so lucky to have some beautiful beaches here in Devon, we decided that a picnic on the beach would be a fantastic way to come together and celebrate.’

The volunteer team at Devon RCSAS receive specialist accredited training and expert supervision and development opportunities. They bring wonderful energy, kindness, passion and commitment to this rewarding role.

The volunteer team offers support to survivors of any type of historical or recent sexual violence through an anonymous helpline and email service. Volunteers offer confidentiality and the reassurance that they will listen, believe and not judge the survivors experiences or actions.

Devon RCSAS also offers specialist 1:1 counselling and support to anyone aged 13+ living in Devon and Torbay.

Tanya Alford, volunteer at Devon RCSAS said ‘It is a great organisation, and very professional. I am pleased to be part of a team that offers survivors a safe space to explore feelings and experiences as well as options around support and resources.’

Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services are very proud of their volunteer team and of the exceptionally high quality services provided to our communities within Devon and Torbay.

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