A royal welcome for volunteers Una and Christine

Date Published: 22 May 2024
King Charles smiling

You may remember that our volunteering team was recently awarded with the very first King’s Award for Voluntary Service by King Charles.

Excitingly, two of our volunteers – Christine and Una – were invited to attend a special garden party for winners at Buckingham Palace.

Here, Christine tells us more…


How long have you volunteered with Caritas and what is your role?
I have volunteered since 2016, I am one of two Caritas Representatives for the Parish of St John’s and St Gabriel’s Rochdale.

What’s it like being a volunteer?
It has been enjoyable, informative and inspirational. As a result of my role, I helped to further a social action project in Rochdale which is now a charity accommodating asylum seekers.

How did you feel when the volunteer team was awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service?
I felt it was a very deserved award truly earned by all Caritas volunteers.

Close up of two people outside Buckingham palace smiling

How did it feel to be chosen to go to Buckingham Palace to the garden party in celebration of the award, representing the volunteers of Caritas Salford?
I was surprised and elated!  I have never visited Buckingham Palace before and it was an honour.

Did you meet or see any members of the royal family? If so, how was that?
Members of the royal family in attendance were King Charles and Queen Camilla, Princess Anne and Prince Edward and his wife Sophie.

It was amazing to see them all exit the palace and walk amongst the attendees. Although it was impossible to get very close to them, we did get close enough for a big smile from the King (who is looking very well) and some great photos too.

two people smiling outside of buckingham palace gates

How was the day?
The weather was perfect, with sunshine all day. The food was absolutely delicious as was the constant flow of ice cream and elderflower water to keep us hydrated.

Importantly we met and spoke to many people from all walks of life who have volunteered in a whole variety of roles. We had the opportunity to explain Caritas Salford, its ethos and examples of the support services delivered.

What would you say to others considering volunteering with Caritas Salford?
I would say first try to visit the various services which need volunteers and decide which best fits your own skills and interests. For example my own role as a Parish Rep is very different from some of the more ‘hands on’ volunteer roles in Caritas. It draws on my skills of communication and organisation so it really suits me. You will definitely find a volunteer role in Caritas to suit you – go for it.

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