© Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire 2016 | Office of the Lieutenancy for Berkshire, Berkshire Record Office, 9 Coley Avenue, Reading, Berkshire RG1 6AF | Telephone 0118 937 2281 |


Seven new Deputy Lieutenants for Berkshire - 12 January 2018

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

The new appointments are:

Mr Christopher Barrett
Mr Richard Bennett
Mr David Brownlow
Dr Peter Durrant MBE
Mrs Victoria Fishburn
Mr Adrian McAlpine
Mr Sean Taylor

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

The role of the Deputy Lieutenants is to support the Lord Lieutenant in his wide-ranging work as Her Majesty’s personal representative in the County.  Deputy Lieutenants are encouraged to support public and emergency services and the armed forces based in the County.  Furthermore they are expected to promote a spirit of co-operation by supporting charitable and voluntary organizations and to take an interest in the commercial, social, civic and spiritual life of the County.  The Lord Lieutenant is now supported in his work by the Vice Lord Lieutenant and 34 Deputy Lieutenants.

HRH The Countess of Wessex visits Park House School, Newbury

On Wednesday 29th November, Newbury based charity, Achievement for All, welcomed Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to Park House School.  HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.  The visit saw The Countess celebrate the work of the charity in transforming the lives of children and young people across England and Wales. 

HRH The Countess of Wessex formally re-opens Coral Reef Waterworld on Wednesday 29 November 2017

The Countess was received by Mr Jeffrey Branch, Vice Lord Lieutenant.  During the visit HRH went on a tour of the facilities and viewed a demonstration of the waterworld's 5 brand new waterslides

Lord Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley presents the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service and British Empire Medal (BEM) in Berkshire

The following groups received their awards from the Lord Lieutenant at a ceremony at Ufton Court on Tuesday 24 October:

Earley Day Centre                           
Swallowfield Community Responders           
Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball
The Braywick Charitable Trust
West Berkshire Therapy Centre                   

The groups received a special commemorative crystal and a certificate signed by The Queen, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their local community.  The Awards Ceremony was attended by volunteers and staff from the winning groups and civic dignitaries from across of the County.

Mr Puxley also presented a British Empire Medal (BEM), on behalf of HM The Queen, to Mrs Erika Hayward.  Mrs Hayward received her BEM for Services to Education and Founder of Timbertown in Maidenhead.

HRH The Princess Royal launches The Rivertime Accessible Regatta - 14 June 2017

The Princess officially launched the Rivertime Accessible Regatta at Bisham Abbey.  More than 350 young people, with a range of disabilities took part. HRH was recieved by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

HRH The Duke of York attends 35th Anniversary Service for the Falkland Islands War - 11 June 2017

HRH The Duke of York joined veterans and families at the service to mark the 35th anniversary of the end of the war. The Service was held at the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, Pangbourne College.  Before the service, HRH had an opportunity to meet with some of the veterans and familes who lost loved ones during the conflict.

Six Berkshire groups announced winners of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2017 - 2 June 2017

Six groups, based in Berkshire, have been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service this year.  The following groups will receive their awards from the Lord Lieutenant,  at a presentation in the autumn.

Earley Day Centre - A day centre that provides support through friendship and social activities, open to all ages
Jelly - A creative arts charity, encouraging members of the community to take part in the arts
Swallowfield Community Responders - Provides 12 hours of 999 cover a day for the benefit of the local community
Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball Club (Kings) - A volunteer run, competitive wheelchair basketball team
The Braywick Charitable Trust - A charity that relieves individuals with any type of long term physical, sensory or cognitive diability through the provision of support and activities
West Berkshire Therapy Centre - Offers exercie therapy for people with a wide range of disabilities and chronic conditions whose needs otherwise go unmet

HM The Queen visits Pangbourne College - 9 May 2017

HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, visited Pangbourne College on Tuesday 9 May 2017, marking the college’s centenary.  They were received by The Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire, Mr James Puxley.  They attended a special service in the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, based at college.  The Queen presented the school with a new military flag (Colours) and Her Majesty The Queen’s Gold Medals, awarded annually, to the college’s Head Boy and Head Girl.

HRH The Countess of Wessex visits The Abbey School - 4 May 2017

The Abbey School started a year of celebrations to mark its 130th Anniversary with a visit from HRH The Countess of Wessex.  HRH was received by Mrs Felicity Rutland DL, Deputy Lieutenant for Berkshire, and joined past and present students for a tour of the junior and senior schools.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opens new Archery Centre - 27 March 2017

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Home Park to open Windsor Archery Club’s brand new pavilion.  The Windsor Forest Bowmen unveiled their new headquarters after a £123,000 refurbishment.  The club was formed in 1951 and was granted Royal Patronage when HRH accepted the appointment of Club Patron.  HRH was taken on a tour of the newly refurbished facilities, which includes efforts to make the club more inclusive with additions such as a ramp for disabled archers. He then unveiled a plaque to officially mark the opening of The Duke of Edinburgh Archery Centre.

Lord Lieutenant's Presentation Ceremony - March 2017

The Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire presented 12 voluntary organisations from across Berkshire with a certifcate to recognise their achievement in being nominated for the Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service. These groups are currently being considered for the National Awards, and the results will be announced in June.

List of Voluntary groups nominated for the 2017 Awards:

Alzheimer's Society Singing for the Brain
Earley Day Centre
League of Friends of the Royal Berkshire Hospital
Swallowfield Community Responders
Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball Club
The Braywick Charitable Trust
The Calcot Community Group
The Wayz
Time to Talk
West Berkshire Therapy Centre
Younger People with Dementia

Mr Puxley also presented 4 British Empire Medals (BEM), on behalf of HM The Queen, awarded in the New Year's Honours list.

Mrs Vivien Cooper BEM - For Services to Railway Heritage
Mr Brian McGuinness BEM - For Services to Rugby Union and Charity
Mrs Pamela Reynolds BEM - For Services in support of Gurkha Family Integration
Miss Pauline Wiltshire BEM - For Services to Digital Inclusion in Berkshire

HRH The Duke of York visits The Marist School, Sunninghill - 1 March 2017

The Duke of York visited The Marist School to officially open the school’s new Sports Hall. The Duke took a tour of the school including a visit to Learning Resource Centre.  Preparatory pupils performed dance and gymnastics routines before The Duke of York unveiled the official plaque to open the Sports Hall.

HRH The Earl of Wessex visits Luckley School, Wokingham - January 2017

HRH The Earl of Wessex visited Luckley School in Wokingham to officailly open their new Performing Arts Theatre.  The Earl was met by the Lord Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley.  Whilst at the school, The Earl met with students taking part the DofE Award.


HRH The Countess of Wessex visits Waverley School, Finchampstead - November 2016

HRH The Countess of Wessex's visit was to open phase 1 of a programme of new facilities at the school.   The Countess officially opened the new school library as well as the new outdoor play and learning area.  Whilst visiting the school, The Countess took the opportunity to join in with some of the lessons.

The Lord Lieutenant presents 5 British Empire Medals on behalf of The Queen - September 2016

On behalf of The Queen, The Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley, presented 5 Berkshire recipients with their British Empire Medals at a special awards ceremony held at the Arlington Arts Centre on Thursday 29 September.  The Lord Lieutenant is pictured here with (from left to right) Mr Michael Copland BEM, Mrs Erica Gassor BEM, Mrs Sophie Walters BEM, Mr Ian May BEM and Mrs Susan Brett BEM. 


HRH The Duke of Gloucester presents awards - September 2016

HRH The Duke of Gloucester presented the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service, a major national honour, to nine winning Berkshire groups on 28 September at Shaw House, Newbury.  The prestigious UK national honour is the equivalent of an MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their local community for the benefit of others. It sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of the Award winners judged to be of the highest standard

The following groups received their awards from HRH:

Building for the Future
Clay Hill Residents Association
Earley Volunteer Driver Bureau
Windsor and Maidenhead Community Responders
Relay for Life Ascot
The Challenge Club
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust
The Rising Sun Arts Centre
The Sir Stanley Spencer Memorial Trust

Each group received a special commemorative crystal and a certificate signed by The Queen in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their local community.  The Awards Ceremony was attended by volunteers and staff from the winning groups and civic dignitaries from all parts of the County.

The Lord-Lieutenant appoints 5 new Deputy Lieutenants - September 2016

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.

Mr Willie Hartley Russell MVO
Mr Chris Khoo
Mrs Mary Riall
Mrs Felicity Rutland
Mr Kiren Sharma MBE

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.”

The Lord-Lieutenant appoints a new Vice Lord-Lieutenant - August 2016

Following the retirement of Mr Anthony West DL, the Lord-Lieutenant has appointed Mr Jeffrey Branch DL as the new Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire.

Mr Branch lives in Maidenhead and is a former House Master and Head of English at Eton College.  He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2010.

He has been a Justice of the Peace for many years.  He is a past Chairman of the East Berkshire Magistrates Bench and has been active nationally in the Magistrates’ Association. He is also a member of the Berkshire Shrievalty Committee. 

Mr Branch is a very active member of both his local community and beyond.  He is a past Chairman of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Decorative and Fine Arts Society.  His is a member of the Berkshire Art Fund Committee.  He is an active member of the Windsor and District Macmillan Cancer Support Committee.  He is also a Trustee of Slough Town Hall Trust.

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.

Nine Berkshire groups announced winners of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2016 - 2 June 2016

Nine groups, based in Berkshire, have been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service this year.  The following groups will receive their awards at a presentation in the autumn

Buiding for the Future, based in Wokingham
Building for the Future is run by parents of disabled children. It provides a one-of-a-kind community centre for disabled children and their families.
Clay Hill Residents Association, based in Newbury
The Association supports its members, both young and old through the different sessions run at Riverside Community Centre.
Earley Volunteer Driver Bureau, based in Earley
A door to door transport service for old and disabled people unable to drive or use public transport.
Maidenhead & Windsor Community First Responders, based in Maidenhead
The Maidenhead & Windsor Community First Responders are volunteers trained and dispatched by their local ambulance service.
Relay for Life Ascot, based in Ascot
Approx. 550 volunteers fundraise all year for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and celebrate their efforts at the annual Rlay for Life.
The Challenge Club, based in Bracknell
A social club, primarily for people with learning disabilities which meets on a weekly basis.
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, based in Thatcham
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust was set up in 1997 following the suicide of Charlie. It has increased awareness of depression, especially in young people.
The Rising Sun Arts Centre, based in Reading
The Rising Sun Arts Centre is a small, independent Arts Centre which is run by volunteers.
The Sir Stanley Spencer Memorial Trust, based in Cookham
The Trust runs the Stanley Spencer Gallery and is totally volunteer led.

HM The Queen 90th birthday celebrations in Windsor - 20 and 21 April 2016

Royal Mail Delivery Office, Windsor - 20 April

HM The Queen paid a visit to the Royal Mail Delivery Office as part of her 90th birthday celebrations in Windsor this week.  The Royal Mail celebrates 500 years of delivery service this year.  The Windsor Delivery Office opened in 1965 and has recently undergone refurbishment as part of a wider modernisartion programme by the Royal Mail. 

The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, toured the delivery office, met with staff and viewed an exibition marking the 500 year anniversary.  Moya Greene, Chief Executive of Royal Mail, also showed The Queen a selection of stamps, being released today to mark The Queen's 90th birthday.

The Queen signed the visitor's book before unveiling a plaque to mark the visit.  


Alexandra Gardens, Windsor - 20 April 2016

HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Alexandra Gardens, Windsor to officially open the new bandstand on 20 April as part of The Queen's 90th birthday celebrations in the town.  The new bandstand is designed in the style of the original Edwardian bandstand that stood in the gardens and is located in the same position. The original bandstand was removed sometime in the 20th century.

The Queen viewed an exibition of commemorative plaques that will be placed on the sides of the new bandstand, before taking a seat to enjoy a performance of a choir of 500 local school children, followed by a performance by the Shakesspeare Schools Festival.

The Queen unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening and was presented with a posy by a local school pupil.

Windsor 'Walkabout' - 21 April 2016

HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated her 90th birthday with a 'walkabout' in Windsor town centre today.  Crowds of wellwishers line the route from Windsor Castle to The Guildhall, many with flowers, cards and gifts for The Queen.  The Queen drove through the castle gates and was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant.

During the walkabout, The Queen  unveiled a panel for The Queen's Walkway - a Walkway in Windsor to celebrate The Queen becoming Britain's longest serving monarch.  The Walkway connects 63 points of interest, representing 63 years of reign.

At The Guidhall, The Queen met with local residents of the royal borough also celebrating their 90th birthday.

The Queen was presented with a birthday cake, baked by Nadiya Hussain, winner of the BBC British Bake Off 2015.

The Queen and The Duke ended the event in a specially adapted 'review' vehicle, which made it's way down Peascod Street to the delight of the waiting crowds.


Beacon Lighting, Windsor Great Park - 21 April 2016

Joined by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, HM The Queen lit the first of more than 900 beacons in Windsor Great Park as part of her 90th birthday celebrations.  After a very busy day, The Queen spent the evening at Windsor Castle, enjoying a private dinner with members of the royal family.


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.