Duddingston Kirk Lunch Club and LifeCare – both of which work to support the elderly – are in line to be honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest gong a charity can receive in the UK.
And as well as being handed a certificate signed by the monarch to mark their achievement, representatives from both groups will be invited to attend the Queen’s garden party at Holyrood Palace on July 1. A separate ceremony this summer will see the two organisations formally receive their awards from Lord Provost Donald Wilson.
Charity bosses said they were “absolutely thrilled” to receive such recognition, which is expected to boost their UK profiles.
Su Millar, chief executive of elderly care charity LifeCare, said: “We are so delighted and very proud to be one of only two organisations to receive this award. It’s just so amazing.
“It’s such a great opportunity to acknowledge all the hard work of our volunteers right across our organisation. It’s really fantastic what the volunteers do. ”
Rev Dr James Jack, minister at Duddingston Kirk – which hosts a weekly lunch club for the elderly – said the award had created a “wonderful excitement” among the project’s volunteers.
He said: “I think they are just excited about the fact they have been recognised. They have been doing this without complaint all these years. Some of them have been doing it since the very first one 20 years ago. It’s not just about the food – that’s a big part of it, but it’s also about getting people together.
“One old woman who is sadly no longer with us encapsulated it for me. She said, ‘Do you know, Thursday is the only day I take off my slippers’.
“People do these things out of the goodness of their heart, for no recognition and no wages. But it’s lovely when something like this comes along.”
The city charities are two of 187 social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
The Lord Provost said: “I am delighted that not one but two of Edinburgh’s fantastic charities have been chosen by the Queen to receive this recognition.
“Both LifeCare and the Duddingston Kirk Lunch Club truly deserve the praise. It was an honour to recommend them personally for their voluntary service, and it will be my privilege to present them with their awards and certificates.”