A CHARITY that provides access to the sea for disabled people has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for its voluntary service - the highest honour a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Weymouth-based Friends of MV Freedom was launched in 1984 and has carried thousands of delighted passengers since.

It recently took delivery of its fourth boat, a twin engined motor catamaran which provides sea trips along the Jurassic Coast, Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay.

READ MORE: Dorset residents wanted to support two charities

Passengers helped by the Friends of MV Freedom include military veterans, the deaf, blind, young adults, children and the elderly - many of whom are confined to wheelchairs, and often would have no other way of accessing life enhancing sea going experiences.

Charity chairman Dirk Aldous said: “Our charity has carried tens of thousands of delighted passengers over the years, and for this honour and recognition on top of the delivery of a brand new boat for this season after nine years of fundraising, could not have come at a better time.

"It is a huge tribute to the hard work and commitment of our volunteers over many years, and particularly to the generous donations received from every element of the Weymouth and Portland communities and beyond. I hope that all our supporters will feel able to share with us, our delight and pride in this wonderful moment in the Charity’s history!”

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. Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Friends of MV Freedom, is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

Representatives of Friends of MV Freedom will receive the award crystal and certificate from Angus Campbell, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, later this summer and two volunteers from Friends of MV Freedom will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on Covid restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award.


t: 01305 830999

e: marie-claire.alfonso


twitter: @MCAlfonsoJourno