Team Wag Honoured by Her Majesty the Queen
Wag’s very first volunteer, Diane Snowsill, pictured here with Sheila, took on the role of reporter for the event. Thanks Diane!
Alnwick Castle was the venue for 10 proud Wag volunteers to represent all the Wag and Company volunteers to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The award had been made in 2020 but because of the COVID pandemic the presentation ceremony had been cancelled. However, the Duchess of Northumberland, who is also a Wag Patron, more than made up for that disappointment, hosting a fantastic event in one of the State Rooms in Alnwick Castle.
The occasion was made even more special for the 10 volunteers as they were accompanied by our two nominators: Sheila Moody (one of the earliest recipients of Wag visits from 2016) and her daughter Sue Meadowcroft. Sheila even brought along her soft toy dog, Aloysius, dressed in his Wag bandana to represent all the Wag dogs!
It was great for Team Wag to meet outside the Castle ready for photos in our Wag uniforms – we really stood out as a ‘family’ amongst the other two groups receiving their awards. Then it was into the Castle via the cobblestones, stunning staircases and the ‘gun room’ to the State Room where we were met by blazing fires and a drink and light refreshments.
The Duchess and her staff were so welcoming and soon put us at our ease before the presentations. In a crowded room the Duchess started by pointing out that:- ‘These awards are very rarely given out and some years we have no awards at all’ – we felt even prouder!
Then it was our turn and the outgoing Vice Lord Lieutenant, Bryony Gibson, read out our citation highlighting that Wag and Company is a ‘unique service’ and ‘the pleasure of the weekly visits is frankly immeasurable’, concluding that ‘this voluntary service is a heart- warming inspiration’. We were all so proud as Sheila Moody went forward to introduce the Duchess to Aloysius and to receive the award and a certificate signed by the Queen on behalf of us all – wow!
‘We being cognisant of the said groups outstanding work in the community and being desirous of showing Our Royal favour do hereby confer upon it’
The Queens Award for Voluntary Service
Then it was time to celebrate, socialise, take photos and reflect on our feelings:-
‘Still buzzing; so proud of our charity’,
‘What a team we all are. Team Wag is truly amazing. I feel very emotional this evening with an enormous sense of honour to be representing such a wonderful charity which touches so many lives’
‘It was such a special evening; great memories for us all’
‘It was an absolute honour and privilege to be fortunate enough to attend Alnwick Castle to collect the Queen’s Award on behalf of the Wag Family. What an experience, and certainly a memory that I will treasure forever’
”What an evening! What a privilege to be lucky enough to share such a special occasion. I love everything Wag stands for and to be able to be there receiving the award with so many wonderful Wag volunteers – and on behalf of so many more – was simply amazing, a night I will treasure!”
We all also were keen to acknowledge the two crucial elements of the Wag Family that had been unable to attend:
- Our amazing dogs who step up to the job in hand and know exactly what is expected of them. It is phenomenal to watch the bridge of trust that a dog can create.
- The team behind the volunteers back at the office who are simply amazing – their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication is contagious!
THIS AWARD IS TRULY for the WHOLE TEAM WAG – WELL DONE US!