The unique UK national honour was created by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and to recognise the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers.
For over 25 years MASH have provided support to street sex workers, offering help from their Drop-In Centre in the red-light district and, late into the night, from a Mobile Drop-In Vehicle. The emphasis has always been on self-help. MASH staff and volunteers offer information, access to appropriate health services, practical advice and one-to one support to empower women to make changes themselves.
Colette, who nominated MASH for the award, credits MASH staff with being “life-savers” and explains “MASH don’t carry you, they give you the tools to help yourself and ensure it doesn’t happen again”.
Colette and MASH’s CEO, Cate Allison, were invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in June where they met other winners of this year’s award. Cate said “The Garden Party was a real highlight but we wanted to ensure all the staff and volunteers were recognised for their contribution to winning this award and celebrated at the Drop-In Centre with a cake too.”
Helen Clayton, MASH’s Marketing Officer said “We are incredibly proud. MASH works hard to reach some of the most vulnerable women in our community and we are delighted that the work of our staff and many wonderful volunteers has been recognised with this prestigious award.”
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