Our visit to the Royal Garden Party

Three representatives from 4Sight Vision Support were recently thrilled to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. As a charity, we were honoured last year to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, and recipients of the Award nationwide were invited to attend the Garden Party hosted by The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and also attended by The Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Alexandra.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. In our 100th Anniversary year, we were was doubly honoured to receive an additional ‘Special Recognition – Covid 19′ Commendation. Last November the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper, presented us with the Award crystal and certificate at a special ceremony.

The Garden Party, held on Wednesday 18 May, was attended by two of our wonderful volunteers, Penny Dale and Julia Kirkham, along with Volunteer Coordinator, Naomi Towns.

The image shows (L to R) volunteer Julia Kirkham, Volunteer Coordinator Naomi Towns and volunteer Penny Dale.

Click though the images of the day below:

I am very proud of our amazing team of dedicated volunteers; they and their hundreds of predecessors have always been at the heart of this Charity’s work, and we were delighted to represent all of them at this wonderful Garden Party. Everyone at the Palace was so welcoming: it was a once in a lifetime experience – the perfect day in beautiful surroundings!

Naomi Towns

Penny reflects on her experience of the special day:

It was a total surprise to be picked out of the hat for a ticket to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party, courtesy of 4Sight following their award this year for the Queen’s award for voluntary service, I have never won anything substantial before.

Time to assess the wardrobe and buy something smarter than my usual attire. I shared my prize with Julia Kirkham and Naomi Towns from 4Sight. We decided to do it in style and had a private car to take us so we set off in our glad rags on Wednesday the 18th. we were so lucky with the weather a lovely sunny day.

8000 people attend one of these garden parties so huge crowds around. There were plenty of chairs, thank goodness.  The tea was wonderful so tasty and plenty of it, finger sandwiches and many types of little cakes.  At 4pm the National anthem is played and the Royals appear at the top of the steps. We had Earl and Countess of Wessex, Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Alexandra. I did not see them until they left and walked through the crowd as I couldn’t compete with the crowds. There were two military bands playing light music and then at 6 it was time for the National Anthem again and it was over.

We made our way home after a wonderful day and an experience to last a life time.

Penny Dale