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The Rural Coffee Caravan and SERV Suffolk and Cambridgeshire – also known as 'Bloodrunners' – receive Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service

Two volunteer-led organisations have been named as recipients of prestigious Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service.

SERV Suffolk and Cambridgeshire (SERVSC) and the Rural Coffee Caravan received the honour, which is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

SERVSC, also known as the Bloodrunners, transports blood, blood products and donated breast milk to NHS hospitals, air ambulances and milk banks in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire 365 nights of the year and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

Since SERVSC was formed in 2010 volunteers have carried out more than 7,000 delivery runs, estimated to have saved the NHS approximately £500,000.

Its 100 volunteers deliver urgently needed products to hospitals and each night seven riders/drivers are available for duty, with the controller usually receiving between two and seven calls.

Cindy Dickerson, SERVSC chairman, said: “We are so proud to have received this award.

"It never ceases to amaze me how our volunteers turn out in all conditions and without question. This award is a testament to how all of our volunteers act with professionalism while delivering a vital service to the NHS hospitals, air ambulances and milk banks in our region.”

The Rural Coffee Caravan was set up in 2003 to deliver information and friendship in rural communities across Suffolk.

Volunteers take the caravan to villages equipped with coffee, tea, homemade cakes and information about organisations and the services they offer.

The Rural Coffee Caravan said it was 'excited and delighted' to announce its Queen's Award and thanked those who: help to deliver visits; help with events; bake; act as Rural Coffee Caravan champions in villages; undertake pro bono work; run the organisation's website and house the caravan between visits.

SERVSC and Rural Coffee Caravan are two of the 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

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