Number of awards 'speaks volumes for volunteers'
A record number of voluntary organisations in Devon have received royal awards in recognition of their charitable work.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service has been bestowed upon the groups, following nominations earlier this year.
The accolades are considered by many to be as prestigious as an MBE.
A community shop and cafe, support networks for the elderly and volunteer coast-watchers are just some of the eight organisations receiving the award in the county.
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The award will provide a well-deserved boost in profile to many of the local voluntary groups.
Torbay Prostate Support Association is one of the organisations to receive an award. Chairman of the association Peter Hosking said he hopes the award will enhance the group's reputation.
The group provides advice and support across the region for those with prostate cancer.
Friends of Devonport Park, the Bere Ferrers community shop and Yelvercare were also among the recipients.
Exeter's County Hall will host a presentation evening next month, where Devon's Lord Lieutenant will present the successful groups with their awards. Eric Dancer CBE, JP, represents the Queen in his role as the Lieutenant and said the awards "speak volumes for the strength and value of the voluntary sector in Devon".
"I very much hope that these Awards will act as an inspiration to all voluntary groups and volunteers in the county".
The award scheme began in 2002, as a celebration of the Queen's golden jubilee.
It aims to recognise outstanding work and any social, economic or environmental service to the local community.
A total of 112 organisations across the UK have received the award this year.
The awards, which are signed by the Queen, will be presented at County Hall on the July 24.