Queens Honours for NINE RED!






Volunteer-led Luton based social enterprise, NINE RED Presents… (CIC) have been honoured with a 2016 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and the equivalent of an individual MBE.

NRP responds to the needs of its local community; supporting and enhancing lives of socially disadvantaged groups, including victims of abuse; running community projects which provide skill attainment, education, artistic pursuits and counselling.  NRP best known for its AVS Project provides holistic support for survivors of all forms of abuse.

The dedicated and hardworking team of almost 40 volunteers carry out an astounding range of roles including; Counselling, Art Therapy, Exhibitions, Carnival and Performance Arts, Digital Art and Design.  All experts in their own fields, the volunteers give their time freely to ensure that NRP services and events run smoothly, and both clients and beneficiaries alike enjoy the best possible service.


Chief Executive Officer, Debra Knight LL.B (Hons) and Managing Director, Gordon Davis, who are the energy at the heart of organisation, both volunteers and responsible for the day running of all NINE RED’s projects and services, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 24 May at which the Queen and other winners of this year’s award were present. In all 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK received the prestigious award, which recognises their outstanding work in their communities.

The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

NINE RED Presents… (CIC) will receive the award from HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis on Saturday, 22nd October 2016.

The way we learned about the award is a story within itself.  It was my birthday and I had really bad birthday blues.  At 8.30am the hospital called to inform me that I was booked for surgery in a few days’ time; given the fact I had to confirm my identity by giving them my birth date, I felt it a little unfair.  Gordon took me to London to celebrate my birthday.  Whilst in London, I received a telephone call at home, but no details were given and the person said they would call back later.  At 9pm I received a call, stating that we had won the award, given the way my day had started, it was the best birthday present I could wish for.

This award means a great deal to our organisation.  Many of our volunteers were at one point beneficiaries of the services provided by NRP, and now volunteer across the organisation.  In this sense socially/materially disadvantaged individuals are helping other socially/materially disadvantaged individuals, build a safer brighter future. This is empowerment for all and a shining example of how ordinary people working together can achieve extraordinary things.

I am so excited that all our clients/volunteers have been recognised in this way.  One of our art therapy projects “Darkness Makes Sense…In The Light”, have been heavily involved in Luton Carnival’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations, both with a troop in the procession and the production of the 40th Anniversary exhibition which is touring various venues in Luton.  Our carnival theme for this year is “Limitless” and this award shows them and the world that they truly are!

Our carnival troop is continuing to tour, we will be at Northampton Carnival on June 11th and our final date will be 9th October at the Exmouth Family day and Illuminated Procession.  The Exhibition is currently at Stockwood Discovery Centre until 1st July and our art therapy programmes and Counselling service are available 24/7.

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