© Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire 2019 | Office of the Lieutenancy for Berkshire, Berkshire Record Office, 9 Coley Avenue, Reading, Berkshire RG1 6AF | Telephone 0118 937 2281 |




HRH The Earl of Wessex visits Maidenhead Arts Centre to mark Holocaust Memorial Day - Monday 27 January 2020

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead marked Holocaust Memorial Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with a special conversation and screening of Nicky’s Family on Monday 27 January 2020. The event was attended by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. 

Nicky’s Family tells the remarkable true story of how former Maidenhead resident Sir Nicholas Winton was responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of Jewish children. The screening of Nicky’s Family was preceded by a conversation between Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE (Minister of Maidenhead Synagogue); Nick Winton (son of Sir Nicholas and Trustee of Norden Farm); and John Fieldsend, a Holocaust Survivor and one of ‘Nicky’s children’ whose parents were murdered at Auschwitz.  During the visit HRH met with pupils from Cox Green School, recently returned from a visit to Auschwitz

HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire

HRH The Earl of Wessex visits the Maidenhead Advertiser - Thursday 21 November 2019

HRH The Earl of Wessex visited the Maidenhead Advertiser as part of it's 150th year anniversary on Thursday 21 November.  During the visit, HRH viewed early editions of the paper,as well as meeting with staff, unvieling a plaque to mark the visit and cutting a celebratory cake.  He also met with several local charities and organisations supported by the Loius Baylis Trust, the owner of the Maidenhead Advertiser.  HRH was received by Mr Jeffrey Branch DL, Vice Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire

Lord Lieutenant presents awards - 24 October 2019

The Lord Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley presented awards to worthy recipients in the reserve forces, at the annual SERFCA Awards Ceremony, held at Bradfield College.  During the ceremony the new Lord Lieutenant cadets were invested and they will assist Mr Puxley during events in the coming year.

Cadet Corporal Jensen Smith - 6 Platoon Woodley ACF
Cadet Filight Sergeant Natasha Robinson - 155 (Maidenhead) Sqn ATC
Cadet Colour Sergeant Jessie Westall - Bradfield College CCF
Cadet Sergeant Evie Mannering - Reading School CCF
Cadet Corporal Louis Mercer - Windsor SCC

Five new Deputy Lieutenants appointed in Berkshire - Thursday 17 October 2019 

The Lord Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley, has appointed five new Deputy Lieutenants who will assist him in representing The Queen in Berkshire.

The new appointments are:
Mr Richard Anderson DL
Mr Graham Barker DL
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Alexander Fergus Matheson of Matheson Bt. LVO DL
Mrs Harriet McCalmont DL
Mr Andrew Try DL

Mr Puxley said: “I am delighted to welcome five new Deputy Lieutenants.   I congratulate them on being awarded this honour and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

HRH The Princess Royal visits Wokingham Citizens Advice Bureaux - Friday 27 September 2019

Wokingham hosted a special royal visit on Friday 27 September with Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, touring the local Citizens Advice services offices, meeting staff and volunteers.  The Princess Royal is Patron of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux and visited the charity during the national service’s 80th anniversary.  HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire 


The Princess Royal was the guest of honour at the 20th Anniversary celebrations of Prior’s Court - Thursday 12 September 2019

Around 150 dignitaries and guests were also present at the circus-themed celebrations.  The Princess Royal had previously visited Prior’s Court on 23 May 2000 to officially open the school.  Since 2000, Prior’s Court has grown substantially in both its ambitions and its scope, with the Princess Royal able to see the wide-ranging changes in person during a tour of the site, accompanied by Mike Robinson, Prior’s Court Chief Executive, and other members of staff.  The tour encompassed a visit to one of Prior’s Court’s homes for young people in the award-winning The Seasons building, and a look inside Bread & Beyond; a ground-breaking commercial bakery which provides vocational learning opportunities for young people with autism.  The Princess was received by HM Lord Lieutenant for the Roayl County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley

Lord Lieutenant presents British Empire Medals and The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - 10 September 2019

Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire presented 2 British Empire Medals (BEM), on behalf of HM The Queen on Tuesday 10 September at Reading Town Hall  The medal rewards achievements or contributions of very 'hands-on' service to the community in a local geographical area.

            Mr Martin Trepe                 For services to the Newspaper Industry

            Ms Jill Wright                     For voluntary services to Athletics in Berkshire

Mr Puxley also presented the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service, a major national honour, to six winning Berkshire groups

The following groups received their awards from the Lord Lieutenant:

 The Awards Ceremony was attended by volunteers and staff from the winning groups and civic dignitaries from across of the County.


The Lord Lieutenant presents a Queen's Award for Enterprise - Friday 6 September

Berkeley Engineering Consultants (BEC), a single access point for specialist engineering services for the global oil & gas sector, received its Queen’s Award for International Trade from HM Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley.  It is a major achievement with BEC, being one of just over 200 companies to have been recognised out of more than 4 million registered businesses nationwide.  Mr Puxley was assisted in the pressentation by Lord Lieutenant's cadet Flight Sergeant Thomas Reid

The Lord Lieutenant presents a Queen's Award for Enterprise - Monday 15 July

A Thatcham environmental analysis business has been recognised for its “outstanding short term growth” after increasing sales by 265% in just five years.  Trace2o Ltd, which supplies water testing kits to developing countries, has won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth.  The Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley, presented the company with the award, on behalf of the Queen.  The Lord Lieutenant was assisted by Lord Lieutenant's cadet, Cdt Staff Sergeant Jordan Graham.  Mr Puxley congratulated the company on winning the prestigious award and for the positive impact it has on the borough.

HRH Princess Alexandra visits Thrive - Wednesday 10 July 2019

HRH Princess Alexandra visited the charity that uses gardening to improve health, based in Beech Hill, where she met client gardeners, their families, Thrive staff and volunteers.  The Princess, who is Thrive's Patron, presented long-service awards to volunteers before cutting a special anniversary cake shaped as the Thrive logo to celebrate their 40th anniversary.  HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire

Royal Berkshire Hospital celebrates 180 years - Wednesday 29 May 2019

Trust Chair Graham Sims, and Chief Executive Steve McManus, welcomed Mr James Puxley, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire, and other dignitaries to the hospital on Wednesday 29 May.  As part of the celebrations a commemorative flag featuring the official crest that was given to the hospital on its 100th anniversary was raised in the feature garden. The assembled dignitaries then visited the 180 anniversary exhibition wall, which tells the story of the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

HRH The Princess Royal attends the Household Calvalry Freedom Pararde in Windsor - 18 May 2019

The Princess Royal, Colonel, The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons), attended the departure from Windsor Freedom Parade at the Guildhall, High Street, Windsor, Berkshire  on Saturday 18th May 2019.  Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire, General Sir Redmond Watt DL received HRH at the Guildhall

HRH The Prince of Wales visit Waitrose's new Food Innovation Studio - 4 April 2019

Prince Charles came to visit and officially open Waitrose's new Food Innovation Studio at their offices in Bracknell.  The Prince was given a guided tour of the new studio, which has an innovation kitchen, a cookery theatre for training courses, a dedicated ideas room and five tasting rooms.  During his visit on Thursday, April 4, he also met staff who create products for the Waitrose Duchy Organic range, which was founded by the Prince in 1990.  The Prince of Wales was received by Mr Harry Henderson, Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire

Swearing In of the New High Sheriff for Berkshire - 2 April 2019

Mrs Lucy Zeal was sworn in as the new High Sheriff for the Royal County of Berkshire 2019/20, at a ceremony held at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday 2 April.  The Ceremony was attended by friends and family of both the incoming and outgoing High Sheriff, Mr Graham Barker, as well as local dignitaries from across the county.  Pictured from left to right: Carol Kelly JP, Lord Lieutenant, Graham Barker, Lucy Zeal, Jonathan Gater (Under Sheriff) and the Resident Judge HH Judge Norton.

HRH The Prince of Wales visits UCEM to mark its centenary year  - 8 March 2019 

The University College of Estate Management (UCEM) welcomed its Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, on Friday 11 March to mark the occasion of its centenary year. During his tour of the site, HRH heard how UCEM has adapted teaching to meet the needs of students over the last century including development in the last five years of its supported online education model. HRH received a demonstration of UCEM’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), followed by a visit its filming studio to watch student content being created. The Prince also joined apprentices in a training workshop, before moving on to a reception of UCEM Trustees, staff, alumni and students where he unveilied a plaque to commemorate his visit. HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire.

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester officially opens Carramar House, Thatcham - 27 February 2019

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester officially opened a new mental health service in Thatcham, on Wednesday 27 February.  The building which was formerly empty has had a complete refurbishment that was fundraised and carried out by Response, a mental health charity based in Oxford, in partnership with Berkshire Health Foundation Trust and Thatcham Town Council.  The beautiful Grade II listed building has been given a new lease of life and is now the home for 10 new residents.  HRH was received by Mr Paul Dick, Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire


HRH The Duchess of Gloucester opens new West Berkshire Cancer and Renal wing - 27 February 2019

On 27 February, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester opened the newly built Greenham Trust Wing at Berkshire Healthcare’s West Berkshire Community Hospital..  Funded solely through donations to the Rosemary Appeal, the Greenham Trust Wing cost over £5.3m to build and fit. Housing three separate facilities, the new wing comprises of the Enborne Unit, providing a renal dialysis service, the Rosemary Centre delivering care to patients requiring chemotherapy and other intravenous therapies, and the Sue Ryder day therapy centre offering palliative, neurological and bereavement support.  Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the building and met with patients and staff.  HRH was received by the Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire, Mr James Puxley

Thames Hospice Ground Breaking Ceremony - 22 February 2019

The Lord Lieutenant joined invited guests, including the Prime Minister to the site by Bray Lake to witness the official Ground Breaking Ceremony.  Thames Hospice will relocate from Windsor to the new site in Maidenhead, in 2020

The Annual Get Berkshire Active Awards - 15 February 2019

The Lord Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley joined invited guests at The Annual Get Berkshire Active Awards on the 15 February in Reading.  The Awards celebrate sporting excellence across the county as well as applauding the unseen work that goes on behind the scenes to make sport and physical activity happen. Awards were also made to the schools, community groups and workplaces who put physical activity and wellbeing at the forefront of their objectives.

HRH The Princess Royal visits UTC, Reading - 23 January 2019

On Wednesday 23 January, UTC Reading received a visit from HRH, The Princess Royal and Patron of WISE, to mark the launch of a new online career game for young girls.  My Skills My Life aims to reverse the trend for young girls being turned off from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers.  HRH was received by The Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley

Remembrance Sunday - 11 November 2018

The Lord Lieutenant and several Deputy Lieutenants attended Remembrance Services and events across the county to mark 100 years of the end of the Great War.  Mr Puxley attended Reading Borough's Remembrance Service at the Reading Minster, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Forbury Gardens.  The Vice Lord Lieutenant, Mr Jeff Branch DL attended a service in The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.  DLs also attended services and events in Bracknell, Wokingham, Twyford, Hungerford and Sunningdale. 

Festival of Remembrance - 3 November 2018

The Lord Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley and representatives from the Royal British Legion of Berkshire, were joined by county diginitaries and guests for a Festival of Remembrance, held at Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin on Saturday 3 November. Woodley Concert Band and the Chapel Chior of St George's School, Ascot performed at the Festival, followed by a Remembrance Service.  On the 11th November 1918 at 11am the Armistice was signed which brought the fighting of World War One to an end, although the war did not finish officially until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28th June the following year. Communities large and small, up and down the country, will commemorate the Armistice on 11th November 2018.

HM The Queen visits The Lexicon, Bracknell - 19 October 2018

Bracknell Forest Council and The Lexicon were delighted to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to Bracknell Town Centre on Friday 19 October.The Queen started the tour with a visit to The Bull, where she was introduced to architects who helped transform the 14th century pub. Outside The Bull, The Queen was introduced to a number of key staff from the project’s construction, development and architectural teams. During the visit, The Queen toured The Fenwick Store. The visit concluded by The Queen unveiling a commemorative plaque alongside Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council. HM The Queen was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire

Lord Lieutenant presents British Empire Medals and The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - 16 October

Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire presented the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service, to three winning Berkshire groups on Tuesday 16 October 2018 at the Windsor Guildhall.  During this Presentation Ceremony, The Lord Lieutenant also presented Brisitsh Empire Medal to 5 very worthy Berkshire residents.

The following groups received their awards from the Lord Lieutenant:

The following British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients received their medals from the Lord Lieutenant:

Mr John Barley BEM            Receives the BEM for charitable Service in Berkshire                       

Ms Emma Ford BEM            Receives the BEM for services to the Riding for the disabled in Buckinghamshire

Mrs Jennifer Nutt BEM         Receives the BEM for services to the community in Pangbourne, Tidmarsh & Sulham

Mr David Slack BEM            Receives the BEM for voluntary services to the community in Kent & Berkshire

Mrs Maureen Smith BEM     Receives the BEM for services to Atmospheric Science and Meteorology


Lord Lieutenant presents awards - 11 October 2018

The Lord Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley presented awards to worthy recipients in the reserve forces, at the annual SERFCA Awards Ceremony, held at Easthampstead Park.  During the ceremony the new Lord Lieutenant cadets were invested and they will assist Mr Puxley during events in the coming year.

Cadet Staff Sergeant Jordon Graham - 11 Platoon Arborfield Army Cadet Force
Cadet Sergeant Harry Manocha - Reading School CCF
Cadet Flight Sergeant Thomas Reid - 1116 (Woodley) Squadron Air Traing Corps
Cadet Petty Officer Peter Talbot - Reading Sea Cadet Corps

HRH The Earl of Wessex open Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service HQ – 8 September 2015

HRH The Earl of Wessex visited Newsham Court ,Calcot to open the new Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Headquarters in September.

The new Headquarters building replaced the old Dee Road Reading base which was cramped and becoming unfit for purpose. The new building has now become the home of the Thames Valley Fire Control Service, the shared emergency Control facility for Royal Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Services.

Fire fighters provided a number of demonstrations for HRH, including the simulation of a rescue after a car crash. The Earl of Wessex then toured the new headquarters and made a short speech to mark the opening. He said: "

“I am delighted to be able to come here and open these new headquarters for RBFRS. It is a vital service which it provides and I don't wish to talk fire-fighters out of a job but I hope they are not needed. When they are called upon though I know they carry out a very professional job in whatever the circumstance."


Armed Forces Day in Reading –  27 June 2015

Armed Forces Day is a chance for everyone to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. 

Reading Borough Council continued its tradition of marking the day with a special event in Forbury Gardens where the Lord-Lieutenant and the Mayor of Reading jointly presiding over the event. Everyone present enjoyed a day of live music from the bandstand, stalls, activities for children and displays and demonstrations from representatives of the forces, veterans’ associations and related charities. 

The day’s events culminated in an Armed Forces Veteran’s Badge presentation ceremony performed by the Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley and the Mayor of Reading Cllr Sarah Hacker.


Wokingham says farewell to REME –  14 June 2015

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) marked their long association of the Corps with Wokingham - ahead of the Corps’ relocation to Lyneham in Wiltshire –by exercising the Corps’ Freedom of Wokingham and parading through the town on 14 June.

The Corps of REME was awarded the Freedom of Wokingham in 1978 and has usually exercised that freedom once every 5 years.  Recent parades have varied from that timing to mark the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and this year to note the Corps’ departure from Wokingham.

Brigadier Stephen Matthews, Deputy Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, represented the Lord-Lieutenant at the Parade.   Brigadier Matthews, who marched in the first Freedom Parade and is a former Commandant of Arborfield Garrison was a member of the Parade’s Inspection Party with Cllr Philip Mirfin, Town Mayor of Wokingham and Lieutenant General Andrew Figgures, Master General REME.

Broad Street in Wokingham was lined with members of the public who came to show their respect and support for the Corps. 200 members of 11 Trg Bn REME participated in the parade in three groups, led by a band.  The parade commander was Lt Col Clare Phillips, CO 11 Trg Bn REME.

Members of the Inspection Party gave speeches after the Parade Inspection.  Later in the day a committee room in the Town Hall was named ‘THE REME Room and formally opened by the Town Mayor of Wokingham and the Master General REME, to mark the long association between the Corps and the Town.

Commenting on this last Freedom Parade, Brigadier Matthews said: 

A day tinged with sadness and pride; sad for the Corps to leave Arborfield after almost 70 years but huge pride in our community that have taken the wider military family into their hearts.  Well done to Wokingham Town and thank you to all those on parade and all those people who turned out to support them.  A wonderful day in the Royal County of Berkshire.


Magna Carta 800 – The River Relay –  13/14 June 2015

The River Relay was a spectacular boat pageant that commemorated the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede.· It involved a flotilla of over 190 rowing and paddling craft of all sizes and all eras, led by The Queen's Row Barge Gloriana, including the Royal Shallop Jubilant and the Royal Thamesis.

Earlier in May, a special reception attended by Deputy Lieutenant His Honour Charles Elly was held at the Guildhall Windsor to receive the replica Magna Carta created by children from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and to greet the Magna Carta Charter Bearers,  a group of people selected from the local community, who would take the Charter downstream in relays.


Charter Bearers: The team who carried the replica Magna Carta - held here by Deputy Lieutenant His Honour Charles Elly - down the Thames on the river relay.

The Relay took place on 13th and 14th June starting from Hurley travelling down to Runnymede, a distance of almost 20 miles. Stopping at various points on the way the story of the Magna Carta was told in a series of playlets and other activities. At each point the responsibility of carrying the document was handed over to a new charter  bearer who travelled on board the Royal Shallop Jubilant and escorted by rowed craft.

Various members of the Lieutenancy took part:

The Lord-Lieutenant James Puxley attended the launch of the Flotilla on Friday 12 June at Bisham Abbey.


• Vice Lord-Lieutenant Anthony West attended a luncheon event on the Gloriana on Saturday 13 June, leaving Cookham and travelling to Boulters Lock


• Deputy Lieutenant Charles Elly attended a barbecue at Oakley House, Windsor to mark the mid-way point of the River Relay.


The waterborne event was organised by Thames Alive - on behalf of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Runnymede Borough Council and Spelthorne Borough Council.

The Prince of Wales opens the Bekynton Field development at Eton College –  9 June 2015

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has opened the largest development at Eton College since it was founded in 1440. ·The Bekynton Field development includes a 300-seat hall and 40 new classrooms and common rooms. It houses the Modern Languages, Divinity and Economics and Politics departments and its Jafar Gallery is home to the Eton Museum of Antiquities - one of the world's finest private collections of Egyptian antiquities, bequeathed to the school by a former pupil.

During the visit, His Royal Highness met with pupils and staff in one of the new common rooms.  The Prince of Wales listened to students’ poetry and drama recitals in the new Jafar Hall, a facility which can be used for a variety of purposes, including lectures and debates.

He was shown the Eton Museum of Antiquities, which is housed in the new Jafar Gallery. The objects and artefacts there are already used in an outreach programme for schools, researchers and interest groups and this new space allows Eton to extend this still further. The new gallery will also allow the exhibits to be seen by the wider public through weekly openings, which are planned to start in the autumn. · ·His Royal Highness was invited to place into its case the marble head of a young man from a Greek relief, dating from the late 5th - early 4th century BC; this was the final object completing the new exhibition.


Countess of Wessex visits Bracknell and Reading 3 June 2015

The Countess of Wessex visited a new free school in Reading and opened an extra care housing scheme in Bracknell when she visited Berkshire on 3 June.

More than 70 people attended the opening of the NAS Thames Valley School in Tilehurst, which is owned by the NAS Academies Trust, the National Autistic Society's (NAS) network of free schools and academies. 

The Countess unveiled a plaque and was given a tour of the school by its principal Gary Simm. She observed various lessons before meeting groups of students and hearing first-hand about their lives at the school.


Ivy Mitchell presents flowers to HRH

A hug for the Countess

The Countess travelled onto Bracknell where she opened Clement House, Bracknell Forest’s first extra care housing scheme. Clement House has 65 one and two bedroom apartments – 51 are rented and 14 privately owned. The scheme has a light and spacious central atrium lounge, as well as a restaurant. The Countess was received by Mr Anthony West, Vice Lord-Lieutenant and taken on a tour of residential scheme, met residents, representatives from Bracknell Forest Homes, Bouygues (the construction and development company) and Bracknell Forest Council who have brought the scheme to fruition. The Countess was also invited by resident Roger Ayres to look at his new apartment.


Vice Lord-Lieutenant Mr Anthony West receives the Countess of Wessex

Posy presented by resident Audrey Reeves to the Countess

Three Berkshire groups win Queen Award for Voluntary Service 2015 

Four Berkshire voluntary groups are among the 187 UK companies 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups who have received this prestigious award this year:

Apna Virsa - Slough
Apna Virsa, meaning ‘Our Heritage’, celebrates and widely promotes traditional and contemporary South Asian culture amongst Slough communities, encouraging the sharing of rich traditions across generations and cultural backgrounds. Courses and activities develop learning skills, promote health and well-being, and alleviate isolation, enabling many learners to become economically active.

Jealotts Hill Community Landshare - Bracknell
Jealotts Hill Community Landshare uses a redundant commercial site, owned by Syngenta, to provide an outstanding community service and resource for a large range of organisations and people. In particular, socially disadvantaged and ex-offender groups are supported, as are those with physical and mental disabilities, from autism to alcohol dependency. There are over 100 people who benefit from this therapeutic service. 

This is very much a volunteer-led group. Some 300 volunteers undertake work such as pruning, cultivating and weeding, and some have obtained adult teaching qualifications. Further support comes from around 500 corporate volunteers.

Open Kitchen - Maidenhead
Open Kitchen is a remarkable organisation that provides a lifeline for the many needy and homeless people in Maidenhead. It is vital in that it provides both food and household products to enable families and individuals to survive. It bridges the gap for those who have come off benefits but have yet to receive wages and it supports those who need emergency help. In addition, it supplies essential food services to the Women’s Refuges in Maidenhead and Slough.

Slough Special Voices - Slough
Slough Special Voices was set up in 2008 to support parents and carers, children and young people living in Slough with Additional Needs. It is exceptional in that all its volunteers are themselves potential beneficiaries because they either care for adults and children with additional needs or they themselves have special needs. What was originally self-help has now become a very significant group supporting large numbers of people.

This Award is the equivalent of an MBE for groups rather than individuals. QAVS has this year been awarded to 60 per cent more organisations than in 2014, reflecting a growth in volunteering and a growing awareness of the prestige of the award.

More than 20 million people in the UK volunteer at least once a year and 13 million volunteer at least once a month, a commitment that is recognised by the QAVS, an unheralded part of the honours system that was set up as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.

Former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis is the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair. He said:

"I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the best of democracy in action."

Minister for Civil Society and MP for Reading East, Rob Wilson, said:

"I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society."

Presentation of West Berkshire Duke of Edinburgh Awards 26 April 2015

The Lord Lieutenant attended the West Berkshire Annual DofE Awards Presentation Ceremony at St Bartholomew’s School Newbury on 26 April when he presented Gold Awards and Long Service Awards to individuals, and the Awards Scheme’s Licence to West Berkshire Council.

Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards were presented to over 500 young Award winners from over 20 DOE Centres  – independent centres and schools -throughout West Berkshire and Reading.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is not another youth organisation to which young people belong, but simply a programme of leisure-time activities. It challenges all young people between the ages of 14 and 25, throughout the world, to serve others, acquire new skills, experience adventure, and make new friends, young and old. The number of young people engaging with the DofE has increased annually since the 1980’s. There been a steady rise in numbers of young people joining DofE, Over 1000 young people register each year. The numbers of those completing a DofE Award is also increasing: 61% this year a significant increase from last year’s 54%.


The Lord-Lieutenant with Gold and Long Service Award winners

2015 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Berkshire announced

Two Berkshire businesses are among the 141 UK companies to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, announced on the Queen’s birthday on 21 April.

Accesso Technology Group Plc, based at Twyford near Reading, has received an Innovation award for the development of a virtual queuing system and an information system for visitors for use at theme parks and similar venues.

Benchmark Woodworking Ltd, based at Kintbury near Hungerford, receives a Sustainable Development award for the second time.   This furniture maker has a long established focus on craftsmanship, design and sustainability and has been commissioned to participate in high profile environmentally focussed projects.

The Queen’s Awards scheme is regarded as the most prestigious business awards in the country and 2015 marks its 50th anniversary.  This year, 105 businesses received awards for international trade; 24 for innovation and 12 for sustainable development. All of the 2015 winners are UK businesses leading the way in international trade, innovation and sustainable development.


HRH The Duke of York visits Slough and Bracknell

The Duke of York visited Slough and Bracknell on 13 April.

HRH started the day with a visit to AkzoNobel in Slough, highlighting the firm’s support for the Outward Bound Trust of which The Duke of York is Chairman. The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity that uses outdoor activities to help develop life skills and confidence in young people.

In a speech to AkzoNobel staff, The Duke of York highlighted the importance of the charity's work. He said: 

“We need to encourage young people today, to understand there is a need for  leadership and there is a need for teamwork and that's different to management.

This is about actually encouraging young people to recognise they have more in  them then they ever realised before.” 

AkzoNobel began work with the charity in 2006 and has since raised almost £1million for the Trust.


The Duke then visited BSRIA Bracknell Headquarters  as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations

He toured the extensive research and information facilities to see the work of the consultancy organisation, to discuss the current and future issues that face the building services industry and to meet the Association’s staff.  His visit concluded by meeting a group of staff, all of whom had worked for BSRIA for more than 25 years.


New Vice Lord-Lieutenant appointed for the Royal County of Berkshire 

Mr Anthony West has been appointed Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire.  Her Majesty The Queen has given her approval to the appointment, which was recommended by Mr James Puxley, the Lord-Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire.

Mr West is a former High Sheriff of the County and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2007.  During this time he has been a very active and supportive member of the Lieutenancy and was instrumental in making the arrangements for the Three Counties Diamond Jubilee Garden Party attended by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh near Henley on Thames in June 2012.  

He is a Vice President of the Mary Hare School for the Deaf. 

Mr West has been extensively involved in the work of many charitable organisations both in Berkshire and beyond.  He is currently a Vice President of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society and of the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society.  He was a founding Trustee and Treasurer of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and is still involved as a Patron.  He is a past Chairman of the Radley College War Memorial Fund and a former Trustee of The Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation and of Bearwood College.

Mr West is an enthusiastic supporter of the Berkshire Community Foundation.

Mr West, a retired solicitor, lives in Remenham, in the centre of Berkshire where is an active member in his local church and community.   He is married with 3 grown up sons and 10 grandchildren.

The post of Vice Lord-Lieutenant was introduced in 1882.  As the Queen’s representative in the County the Lord-Lieutenant has many ceremonial and official duties, and is assisted in these duties by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant.


2015 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Lord –Lieutenant’s reception for Queen’s Awards nominees

The Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley, entertained 12 voluntary organisations from across Berkshire at the Berkshire College of Agriculture at Burchett’s Green on 27 March at a Reception to recognise their achievement in being nominated for the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service.  Mayors and Chairmen of Unitary Authorities in Berkshire, Deputy Lieutenants and nominators joined the Lord-Lieutenant to recognise the work of these voluntary organisations.  

Mr Puxley presented Certificates to representatives of each voluntary group. He thanked all of the Groups for providing support and help in different ways:

‘All of you have given great service to the community. Between you all you cover a number of needs and provide support and help in many ways to those who need it most. I am sure that all those whom you help are deeply grateful and we as a community should be most grateful too’.

The prestigious annual Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was launched by Her Majesty The Queen in 2002 – her Golden Jubilee year – to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements by groups of volunteers.

The groups are currently being considered for the 2015 Awards, and the results will be announced in June. The groups nominated for the Awards are:

• Alzheimer’s Dementia Support - ‘Ads’
• Bracknell Foodbank
• Children 1st West Berkshire
• Earley Adopt-A-Street Initiative  - ‘Easi’
• East Reading Horticultural Therapy & Community Based Training Ltd (known as Ridgeline Trust)
• Jealott’s Hill Community Landshare
• Link Visiting Scheme
• Open Kitchen
• Parenting Special Children
• Slough Special Voices
• The Herschel Park Volunteers
• West Berkshire Cruse Bereavement Care

Any voluntary group wishing to be considered for the 2016 Awards should apply online via the Queen’s Award website:


High Sheriff’s Awards supported by Lord-Lieutenant

The High Sheriff of Berkshire, Mr Christopher Khoo presented his special awards on 25 March at Shaw House Newbury at the end of his year of office.  The Lord-Lieutenant was a guest at the occasion in one of his first official engagements since his appointment.

The High Sheriffs’ Awards recognise contributions made by dedicated individuals working individually, or through statutory and voluntary bodies all over the County. 

In announcing the winners, The High Sheriff said: “Please join me in saluting our award recipients. Some of them are volunteers who  have given freely of their time and energy; others are professionals who have  shown dedication and commitment far above the call of duty.

There are those who have contributed skills to develop talents in young lives, and  those who have helped to support local communities. All of them have made an  impact, inspired us with their example, and made a difference to the lives of  Berkshire folk.”

The Award recipients were: Mrs Rani Bilkhu of Jenna International, Mr Willie Hartley-Russell of Donnington Hospital Trust, Mr Laurie Holloway of Montgomery Holloway Music Trust, physiotherapist at Wexham Park Hospital Mrs Kalpana Joshi, ex-chairman of the Berkshire Bench Mr Mark Lovett, Bray parish councillor Mrs Margaret Pierce, Mrs Mary Riall of Ufton Court Educational Trust and Ms Sara Thornton, retiring chief constable of Thames Valley Police.

The Lord-Lieutenant gave the concluding speech.


The Lord-Lieutenant with Award winners and other dignitaries at the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service Awards ceremony

Lord-Lieutenant presents Awards to Berkshire Firemen

The Lord-Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley, was the guest of honour at the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (Medal and Awards Ceremony, held at Bearwood College on 27 February.  He presented Long Service and Good Conduct medals and Long Service awards to both uniformed and non- uniformed personnel who have more than 20 years service.

Lord Lieutenants of the County have been presenting these awards to the County’s Fire Service for more than 20 years.


HRH The Countess of Wessex in Berkshire

The Countess of Wessex visited Berkshire on 11 February. 

Her Royal Highness opened the Bracknell NHS Urgent Care Centre at Brants Bridge. She toured the Centre’s facilities, including the Community Patient Education Centre. The Countess also took part in a plastering masterclass with pupils and listened to the Holly Spring Junior School choir.

The Bracknell Urgent Care Centre offers free NHS healthcare to anyone requiring immediate treatment but not life threatening symptoms. The Centre, located on London Road, Bracknell, is open seven days a week.


Later HRH visited The Boyn Grove Community Resource Centre in Maidenhead to open the 14th library in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. A story time for local nursery school children was underway as well as a volunteer led ICT session in which the Countess became very hands-on.  The Countess also spoke with staff, service users, volunteers and customers before opening the library by unveiling and cutting a cake.

The brand new community library has proved very popular with local users since it became operational in April 2014.   Families, residents with learning disabilities and elderly residents with dementia use the Centre. It incorporates a much used sensory room and garden, where the Countess met several users during her visit.


Queen recognises Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire in New Year Honours – 31 December 2014

The Queen has appointed the Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, The Hon Mrs Bayliss, a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the New Year Honours List.

The honour is given by the Queen to people who have served her or the monarchy in a personal way. The Royal Victorian Order was founded in April 1896 by Queen Victoria as a means of rewarding personal service to her, on her own initiative rather than by ministerial recommendation.

Mary Bayliss commented:

“I am very honoured and absolutely thrilled that Her Majesty has appointed me a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.  It has been such a pleasure and privilege to have been able to serve The Queen in the office of Lord-Lieutenant for our Royal County of Berkshire.  I am indebted to everyone who has contributed to the well being of the County, including the statutory services, all those who selflessly support the voluntary services and many individuals.  I have visited almost every corner of Berkshire and found such wonderful goodwill and friendship.  Thank you all.”

By appointing Mrs Bayliss to the Victorian Order, the Queen has recognised her 7 years service as Lord-Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire.  Mrs Bayliss was appointed to the role by the Queen in 2008 and is the first woman to hold the post in the county.

The Lord-Lieutenant assists the royal household in any matters it requires in relation to Berkshire. Equally, he is the chief link between the Queen and her subjects in the county.

The Lord-Lieutenant also gives recognition and support to the armed forces, voluntary service, faith groups and charitable organisations.


Mr James Puxley appointed as Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire from 14 January 2015

The following press release was issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on 25 November 2014:

'The Queen has been pleased to appoint Mr James Puxley DL as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire to succeed The Honourable Mrs Mary Bayliss when she retires on 14 January 2015.'

James Puxley DL (66) is a former High Sheriff who has been Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire since 2010. A farmer and former President of the Royal Berkshire Show, he has given good service to a range of charities and voluntary organisations in Berkshire and beyond, including the Community Foundation, the Police Rehabilitation Trust, and the Country Land and Business Association. He is a past chairman of the West Berkshire Anglo American Association.

Mr Puxley lives near Newbury with his wife, Deborah, a son and a daughter.


Queen opens Holyport College – 28 November 2014

Her Majesty The Queen has opened Holyport College, a free school near Maidenhead.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh was received by Berkshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, the Hon. Mrs Bayliss and other dignitaries before meeting the Head Master, members of the governing body, staff and pupils as she toured the school.  All 122 pupils, staff and parents watched as The Queen unveiled a commemorative plaque.

During the visit The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met Sir Nicholas Winton who helped save hundred of children, largely from Jewish families during the Second World War.  The school ‘s reception building has been named after Sir Nicholas who lives near the school.

Other guests included the Rt Hon Mrs Theresa May, Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead.

The state funded college opened to pupils in September 2014.  Once it reaches capacity, the school will have 500 pupils, including 225 boarders aged 11-19 years. Parents pay a termly fee for boarders but daytime education is free.

Free schools, which anyone can apply to set up, are funded directly by central government and are free from local council control. The College is sponsored by Eton College, which gives Holyport College pupils access to some of Eton's facilities.


Berkshire Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service presented by the Duke of Gloucester – 18 November 2014

HRH The Duke of Gloucester presented seven voluntary organisations in Berkshire with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at a special ceremony held at Newbury College on 18 November.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work in their local communities for the benefit of others. The annual Award – the equivalent of an MBE – was created by Her Majesty in 2002 to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. The Awards are announced on 2nd June each year - the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation.

This year seven Berkshire organisations have received awards the winning groups having being selected from 22 nominations across the whole county – all of which were of an extremely high standard. It brings the total of awards made in Berkshire since 2002 to 44.

Representatives from each of the winning groups received from The Duke of Gloucester a certificate signed by the Queen and a commemorative crystal pillar. Commenting on their achievement His Royal Highness spoke of the great volunteering tradition in Britain and congratulated the volunteers on their great achievement. He wished them well as they carry forward their work.

After the ceremony the Duke of Gloucester met all of the volunteers present from the winning groups.

The winning groups receiving the 2014 Awards were:

• ABC to Read, Reading
• Berkshire County Blind Society
• Crowthorne Old Age to Teen Society
• Elizabeth House Cookham
• Kerith Community Church, Bracknell
• Mortimer Village Partnership=
• Slough Furniture Project (Homemaker)


The Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards Ceremony – 23 September 2014

The Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards Ceremony was held at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre, Madejski Stadium Reading on 23 September.  The Hon. Mrs Bayliss, Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, presented Lord Lieutenant Certificates to members of the Reserve Forces, appointed her four new Lord Lieutenant Cadets for 2014/15, awarded BTEC Awards in Public Services to members of the Berkshire Army Cadets and made a special award for Berkshire Reservist of the year. 

The Lord-Lieutenant also presented British Empire Medals, awarded by The Queen in the 2014 Birthday Honours, to three Berkshire residents.

Lord Lieutenant Certificates were instituted in order to give public recognition to those members of the public and the Reserve Forces whose efforts are not recognised by the twice-yearly Honours list.

Four Lord Lieutenant Cadets are appointed each year to Cadets from across the County who have given outstanding service in the Army Cadet Force, the Air Training Corps, the Sea Cadet Corps, and the Combined Cadet Force.

The Lord-Lieutenant congratulated all those who had received their awards: “It is wonderful to see you all here tonight I would like to extend a very warm welcome and also congratulate all those who have received awards.” She added, “For my new Cadets, I hope you all enjoy the year to come.”


The Queen opens Reading Station – 17 July 2014

25 years after originally opening Reading Railway Station, Her Majesty the Queen returned to re-open the greatly improved complex following a major upgrade involving five new platforms, extended platforms, two entrances and a new passenger link bridge. 

The Queen arrived at the station on a scheduled train from London Paddington and was met by the Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, the Hon Mrs. Bayliss and other dignitaries. The station remained open throughout the visit.

During her visit, The Queen named a High Output Plant system (Hops) train, which has been called a ‘factory on wheels.’  It will be used on the main line upgrade between London and South Wales. She heard of the major ongoing project to build a viaduct flyover west of the town to cut delays caused by congestion on the tracks – due to be completed in 2015.

After the official unveiling ceremony, The Queen made her way down the giant escalator at the new northern entrance to the station to be photographed with the ‘orange army’ of construction workers. A large crowd of members of the public greeted the Queen before she left by car.