AOK has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Set up by Kerry Snuggs in 2014, the charity’s mission is to help those in the local community in any way it can. It helps those facing immediate crisis with food, clothing and furniture and helps with community projects ranging from gardening projects through to laptops for children and dedicated Easter and Christmas campaigns.

In the last year the Gosport-based organisation has become one of the south’s leading pandemic response charities feeding thousands of people, collecting prescriptions for those isolating and regularly telephoning those suffering from loneliness.

Kerry said she was absolutely delighted that the charity has been recognised with such a prestigious award. “There is no higher accolade for a charity and to be named in this year’s list is truly humbling. We have an amazing band of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help the local community and have really stepped up during the pandemic.

“This award is for every single person who has been involved – they have all played such an important role during the pandemic and I’m just so thrilled for everyone.”

AOK is one of 241 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.

In addition to The Queen’s Award, Acts of Kindness has been recognised as one which has provided impactful support to the community in response to the pandemic and its award will include reference to this work together with badges for individual volunteers involved in providing extra support related to the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the charity has fed more than 7,000 people, providing enough food for seven days and including fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and eggs to provide a nutritious menu for people. It continues to feed around 200 people a week.

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.

Representatives of Acts of Kindness will receive the award crystal and certificate from Nigel Atkinson Esq HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire later this summer.