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BERKSHIRE LIEUTENANCY

© Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire 2021 | Office of the Lieutenancy for Berkshire, Berkshire Record Office, 9 Coley Avenue, Reading, Berkshire RG1 6AF | Telephone 0118 937 2281 | lord.lieutenant@reading.gov.uk

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South East RFCA  Berkshire Lord Lieutenant's Awards - Thursday 28 September 2022 

The Lord-Lieutenant awarded 11 Meritorious Service Certificates and 4 Lord-Lieutenant's Cadets were appointed at an awards ceremony held at The Royal Military Acadamey, Sandhurst on Thursday 28 September.  The Lord Lieutenant was delighted to present these awards and meet the recipients. He very much looks forward to working with his new cadets over the next 12 months,  Cadet Serjeant Oliver Hathaway, Cadet Flight Sergeant William Milton, Cadet Corporal Holly Marshall and Petty Officer Cadet Natasha Sloan.


Royal 'Thank you' for Windsor Volunteers - Thursday 22 September 2022

Their Royal Highnessess The Prince and Princess of Wales greeted volunteers and operational staff at an event in Windsor Guildhall on Thursday 22 September.  The couple praised the volunteers hard work during events surrounding The Queen’s committal service. Mr Graham Barker DL, Vice Lord Lieutenant received the pair on arrival.


Memorial Services on the eve of The Queen's funeral - Sunday 18 September 2022

Several memorial services were held across the county on the eve of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, attended by Deputy Lieutenants.  The Lord Lieutenant's cadets supported the Vice Lord Lieutenant at Reading Borough Service held at The Minster in the town centre.


County and local Proclamation Readings across Berkshire - Sunday 11 September 2022

Following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, Proclamations were read across the county, proclaming HM King Charles III.  The Lord Lieutenant joined the High Sheriff, Alka Kharbanda as she read Berkshire's county Proclamation in the county town of Reading.  Local Authorites across the county followed with their own Readings.  Deputy Lieutenants represented the Berkshire Lieutenancy at these events.


Lieutenancy Presentation - Thursday 1 September 2022

Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire presented Honours, on behalf of HM The Queen on Thursday 1 September at Reading Town Hall

Recipients receiving the British Emipre Medal:

Mrs Julia Baines BEM                     For Services to Education for People with Special Eduactional Needs and Disabilities

Mr Simon Bradshaw BEM               For Services to the community in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, during Covid-19

Mrs Beverley Edwards BEM           For Services to Women in Policing

Mrs Lisa Hunter BEM                     For Services to the community in Maidenhead, Berkshire, during Covid-19

Mrs Rebecca Jefferies BEM           For Services to Fire and Rescue

Mr George Spinks BEM                 For Services to the Reeds Weybridge Rugby Club

Mrs Nicola Woodward BEM          For Services to the community in Purley on Thames, Berkshire

Mrs Rebecca Mistry BEM              For Services to the Windsor Baby Bank during Covid 19

Miss Elizabeth Warren BEM        For Services to the Community in Berkshire during Covid 19

The Lord Lieutenant also presented an Honorary MBE to Mr Eamonn Sullivan for Services to Nursing and an Honorary BEM to Mr Uday Bhosale for Fundraising Services to NHS Charities and Supporting the Mental Health of Yoga Practitioners during Covid 19.  Honorary awards recognise foreign and Commonwealth nationals who have made an outstanding contribution to the UK.

Mr Puxley presented the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service, a major national honour, to 3 winning Berkshire groups in 2022

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 the Lord Lieutenant:

Alana House                                                                 

Homestart West Berkshire                                            

The Ark Trust CIO                                                        

The groups received a special commemorative crystal and a certificate signed by The Queen, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their local community.  87 groups from Berkshire have now won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

At the end of the presentation the Lord Lieutenant told those present

“It is a privilege to present these awards on behalf of The Queen to marvellous people who do such excellent work trying the make the lives of the less fortunate a bit better. I congratulate them all”

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


HM The Queen formally opens Thames Hospice - Friday 15 July 2022

On 15 July 2022, Her Majesty The Queen formally opened Thames Hospice’s new, state-of-the-art 28-bed facility.The charity, based in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, has been providing compassionate inpatient and community hospice care to its community for 35 years, and is now one of the largest and busiest hospices in the UK.  Accompanied by HRH The Princess Royal, The Queen met and chatted to volunteers, staff and Pat White, a patient currently receiving care on the Inpatient Unit. Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness were joined on their visit by HM’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, Mr James Puxley, Thames Hospice Chair of Trustees Mr Jonathan Jones and Chief Executive Officer Mrs Debbie Raven.


Reading's Armed Forces Day event - Saturday 25 June 2022

Vice Lord Lieutenant, Mr Graham Barker DL attends Reading Borough's Armed Forces Day event.  Mr Barker joined the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Rachel Eden and presented badges to veterans in the Forbury Gardens.  They were assisted by Lord Lieutenant's cadets,  Petty Officer Cadet Zachary Mancey and Cadet Corporal Daniel Wakelin


HRH The Duke of Kent attends Memorial Service for the Falkand Islands War - Sunday 12 June 2022

HRH The Duke of Kent attended a Service of Remembrance for the Falkland War on Sunday 12 June. Veterans and their families were also in attendance at the Service which commemorated 40 years since the end of the conflict in 1982. The Service was held at the Falkland Island Memorial Chapel, Pangbourne College.  HRH was received by Mr James Puxley. Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire.


Platinum Jubilee weekend - 2 - 5 June 2022

The Lord Lieutenant has been busy attending events in celebration of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Mr Puxley attended Trooping the Colour and a Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Catherdral. He also took the salute from The Queen’s Row Barge Gloriana on Eton Bridge, as she headed up the Thames as part of a Flotilla from Windsor to Staines. DLs have been attending events across the county too. What a wonderful weekend to mark The Queen’s 70 years.

  


3 Berkshire groups win the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2022 - 2 June 2022

It has been annouced that 3 groups in Berkshire have been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service this year

 Alana House      (Reading)

A trauma informed and holistic service supporting women facing multiple disadvantages in Berkshire, Alana House stands out as one which is truly unique in every way.  The positive impact of Alana House is almost impossible to measure, creating both hope and confidence where there was previously misery and despair

 Homestart West Berkshire         (West Berkshire)

Home Start West Berkshire is an independent and vigorous charity which supports vulnerable families suffering a range of deprivations from financial poverty, through to mental health challenges, education and learning needs. There is a particular focus on younger children. It is most effective, meeting significant needs which would otherwise go unmet.

 The Ark Trust CIO           (Bracknell)

The Ark Trust exists to support and empower people with disabilities, so they can improve their quality of life. By providing advice and advocacy the charity gives the disadvantaged the opportunity to have their voices heard and their views aired. 

 These winning groups will receive a special commemorative crystal and certificate signed by HM The Queen at a presentation ceremony later this year.  87 groups from Berkshire have now won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002. 

 Nominations for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2023 are now open.  All nominations need to be submitted by 15 September.


HRH The Duke of Gloucester opens new  Heathlands facility - Tuesday 17 May

HRH The Duke of Gloucester formally opened the new Heathlands facility on Tuesday 17 May, which will provide services to patients with intermediate care and dementia care needs under one roof.  The Duke was received by Mr Sean Taylor DL, Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire. Healthands is an £11m partnership project between Bracknell Forest Council, Frimley CCG and FHFT and will provide an exciting opportunity for health and care staff to work together to benefit local people - providing safe, secure and joined up care. 


HRH The Duke of Gloucester visits Mountbatten Grange, Windsor - Tuesday 17 May

Mountbatten Grange in Windsor celebrated The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester. HRH was recieved by Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Berkshire, Mr Graham Barker.  


HRH The Princess Royal visit Xtrac Acadamey - Wednesday 11 May 

HRH The Princess Royal's visit to meet recipients of her eponymous Princess Royal Training Award, assessed by the City & Guilds Group she serves as president, was accommodated by the motorsport & automotive transmission technology specialist Xtrac at its global headquarters in Thatcham, on Wednesday 11 May 2022.  HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire


Scout Association Review, Windsor Castle - Sunday 24 April

The Lord Lieutenant, Mr James Puxley represented HM The Queen at the annual Scouts Association Review at Windsor Castle in April.  This event was attended by young people who have achieved The Queen’s Scout Award and adults who have been recognised for their good service and contribution to scouting. Mr Puxley was joined by Scout Ambassadors including Bear Grylls and spent time chatting to recipients during the event.


Lieutenancy Presentation, Shaw House, Newbury - Tuesday 8 March

The Vice Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mr Graham Barker presented The Royal Victorian Medal (Gold) to Mr Robert Jones at a Reception at Shaw House, in Newbury on Tuesday 8 March.  On his retirement Robert served over 40 years within the Household and combined with his loyalty and the valued manner of his contribution on so many fronts throughout his service lead to him being awarded the Royal Victorian Medal Gold by HM The Queen.  Mr Barker also presented certificates to 6 voluntary organisations from across Berkshire to recognise their achievement in being nominated for the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service. The groups are currently being considered for the National Awards, and the results will be announced in June. Mayors and Chairmen of Unitary Authorities in Berkshire, Deputy Lieutenants and nominators joined the Vice Lord Lieutenant to congratulate the voluntary organisations.  These are the groups from Berkshire, being considered for the 2022 Award - Alana House, Chemogiftbags, Homestart West Berkshire, St Kitts & Nevis Association Slough (SANAS), The Ark Trust CIO and Wokingham in Need.  Mr Barker was supported by Lord Lieutenant's cadets Petty Officer Cadet Andrew Lindley and Cadet Corporal Daniel Wakelin.


HRH The Earl of Wessex opens new school building at St Peter's CE Middle School - Thursday 3 March 2022

St Peter’s CE Middle School in Old Windsor welcomed HRH The Earl of Wessex on Thursday 3 March, to officially open a new building for the school. During the visit, HRH spent time meeting school staff and students, members of the local governing body, local councillors, and staff from ODST, the multi-academy trust the school is part of. He also visited several lessons and a group of students performed a song from their school play. HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire


HRH The Countess of Wessex attends special 15th celebration of Parenting Special Children - Tuesday 2 March 2022

Parenting Special Children were delighted to host a special event on the 2nd March at Reading Town Hall, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the charity and was attended by HRH The Countess of Wessex. The event was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the fantastic work undertaken by the charity in the last 15 years supporting over 10,000 families. www.parentingspecialchildren.co.uk 

HRH was received by Mrs Lucy Zeal DL, Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire


HRH The Countess of Wessex celebrates World Book Day with young vision-impaired readers at Guide Dogs centre - Tuesday 2 March 2022

HRH The Countess of Wessex visited the Guide Dogs centre in Berkshire on 2 March.  During the visit, HRH met young readers who are blind and partially sighted ahead of World Book Day (March 3rd).  The Countess, who is Guide Dogs’ Patron, read with the children, who use specially produced large print books made by the charity. She also toured the centre to see how the books, which are customised to meet each child’s specific needs, are made. As well as large print books, Guide Dogs also provides vital mobility, orientation and life-skills training and technology for young people who are blind or partially sighted. The charity’s famous guide dogs were of course present too.  HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire 


HRH The Earl of Wessex visits Reading Rep Theatre - Thursday 3 February 2022

HRH The Earl of Wessex visited the Reading Rep Theatre in Reading on Thursday 3 February.  During the visit HRH was given a tour of the theatre's facilities by Founding Artist Director, Paul Stacey and viewed very early rehearsals for a fothcoming show, A Midsummer Night's Dream.  He also spoke to students from Reading College attending a workshop in the theatre's learning centre. HRH was received by Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire


 


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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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: https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service/overview


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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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)


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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.”


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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.