A special garden party was hosted by The Duchess of Northumberland this afternoon to thank carers and volunteers in the county.
The event was laid on by The Duchess in her role as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland to recognise the valuable contribution that volunteers and carers make to the local community.
The garden party was staged at The Alnwick Garden and 300 volunteers and carers were invited, along with their partners/guests.
This year’s celebration was the fourth of its kind and is thought to be the biggest in the region.
Fittingly, the event took place during National Carers Week 2017, which aims to raise awareness of the UK’s six-million unpaid carers, as well as celebrating the incredible contribution they make.
Male Voice Choir, Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band and the Duchess’s Community High School provided musical entertainment during the garden party.
The Duchess said: “There are so many extremely generous and extraordinary individuals in Northumberland who give up their time, selflessly, to help others in need.
“I hear so many moving stories of the things people do, for the benefit of others less fortunate, some working for charities, many just doing their own thing, frequently unnoticed, giving help where it is needed most. This was our way of saying thank you to them for the really valuable work they do.
“The garden party has been sponsored through generous donations from businesses based in the North East who want to join me in thanking our volunteers and carers and I, in turn, would like to thank all the donors who enabled the garden party to take place.”
The garden party was sponsored by Greggs; The MGL Group; Pimms; Fentimans Ltd; The Barbour Foundation; The Banks Group; Dandy Events; Jo Malone; The Chocolate Smiths; Wyevale Garden Centres; Ringtons; Potts Print (UK) Ltd; Sir Robert McAlpine; Sodexo; The WA Handley Trust; Isos Housing; and Ward Hadaway Solicitors.
During the event, and on behalf of the Queen, the Duchess presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to three voluntary organisations: Glendale Agricultural Society, Northumbria Blood Bikes and Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop.
The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities.