It was announced on the 2nd June 2019 by Buckingham Palace that The Chichester Bell Tower Youth Drop-In is to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (the MBE for volunteer groups). This prestigious award recognises excellence of voluntary activities and services carried out by groups in the community. The Bell Tower Youth Drop-In is based in the Cathedral Bell Tower in central Chichester. The award recognises the work of volunteers in supporting local young people in Chichester and the wider district, in providing a daily after school drop-in, with mentoring support and young leaders development programme. Volunteers also provide in school support.
The Drop-in is open five days a week from 3:00pm – 5:30pm to all secondary school pupils during term time.
Nick Taunt, the recently retired Headteacher of Bishop Luffa School, commented, “I was happy to nominate this wonderful project for an honour. The Bell Tower’s work offers a real benefit to young people in Chichester. In my time as head of Bishop Luffa, I saw a positive impact on the attitudes, behaviour and attendance of those children who frequented sessions. I congratulate Sam and his team for their dedication to this powerful and worthwhile project.”
Sam Harding, project manager of The Bell Tower Youth Drop-In also commented that, “the award recognises the work of numerous individuals who have volunteered within their community to improve the lives of so many young people. Without the dedication of these volunteers, The Bell Tower Youth Drop-In would not exist. I feel very privileged to lead the project and will celebrate the fact that we have received this award from the Queen with our team of volunteers from across the community. I feel particularly proud when I see many young people who have used our centre for years, choosing to come back to volunteer and give back to their community, creating a lasting cycle of positive change.”
Anthony Gardner of the Dexam Trust, a sponsor of The Bell Tower Youth Drop-In, said “As a regular sponsor and supporter of their work, we are delighted to hear that The Bell Tower Youth Drop-In Centre has received The Queens Award for Voluntary Service. It is thanks to all those who give so much of their time and energy to serve their community through this valuable project, creating a safe environment for young people to thrive.”
Many of our pupils spend time at the Bell Tower Drop-in. Our congratulations to all those involved on this fantastic Award.