Volunteers all set to meet Queen in Hitchin

VOLUNTEERS who have given up tens and thousands of hours of their spare time between them will get to meet the Queen tomorrow (Thursday)

The volunteers at the British Schools Museum have been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award for volunteer groups in the UK.

The Queen herself will hand the award to 80-year-old Yvonne Limbrick, schools programme manager, on her visit to Hitchin.

Mrs Limbrick, who has worked with the museum since retiring as headteacher of Hexton Primary School in 1995, will be joined by 19 other volunteers from the museum dressed in Victorian costume.

Terry Ransome, trustee for Hitchin British Schools Trust, said: “This award is for the 150 volunteers, and to the team at the museum past and present.

“It’s a great honour, and we’re all looking forward to it.

“There have been 112 given this award this year, and there’s only one other museum in there.”

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The volunteers are due to meet Her Majesty in Market Place at about 10.45am, accompanied by schoolchildren from Wilshere Dacre School.

The Queen will then to go to Lister Hospital in Stevenage to open the new maternity ward.

Museum manager Andy Gibbs said: “To have won the award in this Diamond Jubilee year is a tremendous achievement and a great honour, but one I believe to be well-earned by the incredible hard work, commitment, expertise and passion that have gone in to creating a truly unique and inspiring museum.

“To have the award presented, in Hitchin, by Her Majesty herself is truly a double honour.”

Ill health forced the Duke of Edinburgh to stay at home for the Queen’s visit. He is convalescing after leaving hospital on Saturday following treatment for a bladder infection.