Scottish charity Mary’s Meals has been recognised by the Queen and given the highest award possible for voluntary work.
The charity is being honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, seen as the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.
Mary’s Meals said volunteers are “at the heart of everything” it does to provide 1.1 million children in 12 countries with a daily meal in school.
The meals combat the effects of chronic hunger experienced by many children in the world’s poorest communities and also encourage pupils to attend school, which can offer an escape route from poverty through education.
Alan Brown, Mary’s Meals executive director, said: “From our 65,000 volunteers in Malawi who get up at the break of dawn to prepare, cook and serve vital meals to hungry children, to the thousands of generous people across the UK who give up their time to support our work, volunteers are at the heart of everything we do.
“We are very honoured to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It is fantastic that the achievements of our many wonderful UK volunteers are being officially recognised through this award.”
The awards were created in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and recognise the work of volunteer groups within their communities.
Mary’s Meals is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year.