Lee Roake, aged 17 from Chertsey, is one of 500 outstanding volunteers to be chosen as one of the nation’s Coronation Champions by Their Majesties, The King and The Queen Consort, for the volunteer work he does for Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey.
The Coronation Champions Award is part of the official Coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service. Lee was chosen following a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5000 applications were received with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.
Lee impressed judges with his sterling work as a young Ambassador for the 11UP blind and vision impaired young people’s group at Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey. Lee ensures all attendees feel welcome and comfortable, introducing them to other young blind and vision impaired people, as some are attending alone for the first time. He has shown great empathy and understanding to other young people, and is registered blind himself. In addition Lee has put himself forward to risk assess a tough assault course so the 11UP group could participate. The confidence Lee has acquired being an Ambassador has led to him attending college, learning independent living skills, and he hopes to begin training as a DJ in September.
With the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history. Across the UK, 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and unwavering commitment to volunteering.
All Coronation Champions have been invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party and Lee has chosen to attend the Coronation Concert with his Dad, Anthony. Lee will also receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.
Lee said “I am over the moon on receiving this award and feel very proud and privileged. I am completely amazed and honoured that I was one of the 500 to be chosen.”
The Coronation Champions Awards invited people across the UK to nominate their local volunteering heroes who are going the extra mile. Nominations were made across eight award categories; supporting older people; supporting young people and children; crisis and welfare; community; sports, culture, and heritage; health and care; sustainability and the environment; and animal welfare.
Katie Wilson, Volunteer Manager, Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey, said, “Lee is an outstanding volunteer, and we are delighted his work has been recognised. We hope that his story will spur other people to become a volunteer.”
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended. “