AbilityNet volunteers crowned as Coronation Champions!

We are thrilled that not one but two of our AbilityNet tech volunteers, Jon Drake and Roy Biggs, have been selected as two of the 500 official outstanding Coronation Champions.

Jon Drake and daughter Abbie standing outside Buckingham Palace in the gardenThis follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.

The Coronation Champions Awards, launched by Royal Voluntary Service and supported by Her Majesty The Queen Consort, is all about celebrating the work of extraordinary volunteers across the UK.

A total of 500 volunteers were selected as Coronation Champions and have received an official Coronation Champions pin badge, a signed certificate from Their Majesties, and an invitation to one of the Coronation Celebrations. Jon attended the King’s Coronation Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 3rd May, and Roy attended the Coronation concert on Sunday 7th May.

Jon took along his daughter Abbie to share in the celebrations, and they're pictured here enjoying the royal hospitality!

Congratulations to Jon and Roy, and also huge thanks go to Dave Power, our AbilityNet volunteer coordinator in Yorkshire, who nominated them for this award, for their work across Yorkshire helping older and disabled people to use their digital devices.

Jon Drake and daughter Abbie standing outside royal tent in Buckingham Palace grounds, both in formal clothingCommenting on becoming a Coronation Champion, Jon Drake said:

Buckingham Palace grounds with smartly dressed people walking around"Thanks so much to Dave for recognising my contribution, and for going to the time and trouble to nominate me. I'd like to also express my gratitude to RNIB and AbilityNet for their great support for volunteers. It’s a privilege to be able to help and support people through their volunteering opportunities."
The Coronation Champion gold coloured medal Jon received. Shown in a blue velvet display case."I’ve been volunteering for several years, so the award itself was an unexpected but delightful surprise. And the garden party was a fantastic experience - especially coming as it did just a couple of days before the Coronation."

Roy Biggs enjoyed performances from Paloma Faith, Lionel Ritchie and more at the Coronation Concert. He also tells us that, in honour of his award, he and 22 other award winners have also received an invitation from Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, to join him for tea and cake in June. 

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended. “
“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”

Find out more about the awards.

How to help AbilityNet

Many older people and disabled people experience difficulties with their technology, and can’t find the support they need.

Could you, like Jon, Roy and Dave, help people with their tech? Our amazing volunteers provide one-to-one technology support remotely and through home visits. A great way to support AbilityNet is to join our network of 350+ volunteers across the UK. Get involved today!

Become a volunteer

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