Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society went to Buckingham Palace on the 22nd May for a Royal Garden Party, while at the party the Charity were very surprised and honoured to be asked to meet with Her Majesty personally.
On arriving at the garden party at Buckingham Palace the party entered the gardens and were just wandering around with Kevin Healey, Chairman of the Charity, Julie Kearns, one of the volunteers, along with James Meakin, and Andrew Robinson, Trustees of the Charity, when they were approached by one of Her Majesty’s palace officials, who asked who they were and if they had met the Royal Family before, and they all replied “No”. After a few minutes the official came back, after making some enquiries, and told the group they would be meeting and speaking to Her Majesty, which was overwhelming.
Just after 4pm, lines were formed and they were positioned in the middle of hundreds of people. After Her Majesty approached them and shook hands with everyone in the party, she asked about the charity, and Autism, and what about the Charity’s work, which she found impressive. After she had spoken with Julie, James and Andrew, she said “you have certainly have brought the sunshine down with you from Staffordshire, then she spoke to Kevin and asked him if had tried the tea yet as she highly recommend it. She then thanked the group for all the wonderful work that Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society does.
The invitation to the Garden Party came as part of the group’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2012. Given to them for the outstanding achievements of their volunteers. It has an equivalent status to that of the MBE. Kevin Healey, Chairman and founder said, “this award is absolutely amazing – we have won various other awards and our most recent was Charity of the Year in 2011, but to receive an award of this status is fantastic for the Charity, I don’t know of any other autism charity locally, regionally or nationally who has received this prestigious Queens Award, it’s absolutely wonderful news for SAAS, for Autism service providers, and to all who are involved with the Charity”.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire Mr Ian Dudson CBE said “I was delighted when I first heard that the Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society were to be awarded a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. To be presented to Her Majesty The Queen must have been such a proud moment for them, they work so hard and deserve the recognition that they are now receiving”