CHESHIRE’S Lord Lieutenant David Briggs presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to Knutsford Hosts at a packed event at Tabley House.

Guests included dozens of the Hosts as well as representatives from some of the many community groups and local charities the Hosts support.

Mr Briggs spoke for 20 minutes, paying tribute to the Hosts and saying he was ‘so impressed with what the group has achieved’.

The group’s founder and chairman, Sarah Flannery, said: “David’s speech was the highlight of our evening.

“He talked about our association being one of the dividends of London 2012 – because the Games Makers gave me the inspiration for the Hosts – and even worked out that the 12,000 hours of volunteering time we’ve donated to the community since we started equates to an average of 6.6 hours every day for five years, which is pretty amazing.

“David also talked about the value of volunteering, and that it’s a win-win for the Hosts as well as the numerous events, activities and good causes we support.”

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Beryl Morrison, who celebrated her 87th birthday on the same day as the presentation, was thrilled Mr Briggs included birthday congratulations to her in his speech.

Beryl said: “The age range of the Hosts goes from people in their 20s right up to me at 87.

“This was a truly joyous occasion, and it was marvellous to hear the personal message from The Queen thanking us for all that we do. We’re all very proud - and I’ve never received so many happy birthday wishes.”

Sarah added: “Tabley House is one of the many places where Hosts volunteer. It’s a fantastic place to visit and their team pulled out all the stops, even providing cakes, refreshments and Prosecco.

“Sharston House and Little Waitrose also provided cakes and, thanks to donations from Knutsford Town Council and Knutsford Rotary we were able to present every Host with a special Queen’s Award badge in recognition of their outstanding contribution to our community.”