An outstanding volunteer from Wirral, has been recognised by Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort as part of the official Coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service.
Paula Staunton founded and volunteers with Earth Moves, and has been recognised for her contribution and crowned a Coronation Champion.
This follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.
Paula impressed judges with how she uses her lived experience as a domestic abuse survivor, where she used gardening to heal from her own trauma. She now helps others heal through gardening. She has supported hundreds of people through Earth Moves, a community growing project that uses horticulture and culture to tackle social issues.
With the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history.
Across the UK, 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and their unwavering commitment to volunteering.
All Coronation Champions, including Paula, have been invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party. They will also receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.
Commenting on becoming a Coronation Champion, Paula Staunton said, “I am so happy that the work here at Earth Moves is being recognised. There is so much healing power in being out in nature and planting. It is something that has worked well for me personally, so to be able to help others and create an environment where people can thrive, learn something new, meet others and have fun, is so rewarding.
“Congratulations to all the other Coronation Champions, it’s really great to have so many people recognized for making a difference to their communities.”
The Coronation Champions Awards invited people across the UK to nominate their local volunteering heroes who are going the extra mile.
Nominations were made across eight award categories; supporting older people; supporting young people and children; crisis and welfare; community; sports, culture, and heritage; health and care; sustainability and the environment; and animal welfare.
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said, “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended. “
“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”
Royal Voluntary Service is immensely grateful for the generous support of brand partners Simplyhealth, for supporting the Health and Care category, Sky through its Sky Cares programme, for supporting the Community category and Petplan, for supporting the Animal Welfare category.
Those feeling inspired to try volunteering themselves are encouraged to take part in The Big Help Out on Monday 8 May. The Big Help Out is another official Coronation project, aiming to encourage newcomers to volunteering, bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation weekend.
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting the NHS and thousands of vulnerable people in the community. The charity delivers the NHS Volunteer Responders programme for NHS England, enabled by the GoodSAM app, with volunteers responding to over 2.5 million requests for help to support approximately 220,000 people, and completing over 363,000 shifts at vaccination sites.
The charity also works in local communities running home libraries, companionship support, home from hospital services and patient transport. Its Virtual Village Hall provides online activities and classes to promote wellbeing and keep people active.
Image: (L) Paula Staunton