Counselling and Family Mediation – Western Isles, a group of volunteers based in Stornoway have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The organisation was established in 1990 and offers various services including a generic Counselling services for couples and individuals, a counselling services for children and young people, a family mediation services and relationship therapy throughout the Western Isles and Outer Hebrides.  Their clients are given the therapeutic space to express their difficulties and be assured they are being heard by a counsellor or mediator in a safe and non-judgemental environment.

Counselling and Family Mediation – Western Isles is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down.

Representatives of Counselling and Mediation – Western Isles will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of the Western Isles later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from the group will be invited to a garden party at Holyrood House in Edinburgh.

Christine MacKechnie the Service Manager of CFM Western Isles, says: "I am delighted that the hard work and commitment of our volunteers has been recognised in this way, it is a fitting tribute to an exceptional group of professionally trained counsellors and mediators.

This year there were 230 recipients of The Queen’s Award Voluntary Service from across the UK. More information on the recipients and the Award can be found at ​https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service

Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award. Full details on how to nominate are available at ​https://qavs.culture.gov.uk/. Nominations for the 2021 awards close on 25 September 2020.