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News > OB News > Royal Recognition for Charity

Royal Recognition for Charity

Proving hard work and dedication really does pay off
29 Jul 2019
OB News
Sophie at the Queen's Garden Party, Buckingham Palace
Sophie at the Queen's Garden Party, Buckingham Palace

Hearing Help Essex, a Chelmsford-based charity run by CEO Sophie Biebuyck (OB 2000-2004), has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The charity comprises of over 50 volunteers and seven members of staff, and exists to alleviate isolation and loneliness for thousands of people who have hearing loss across the county. During the last year, the charity has supported just over 6,500 individuals living in Essex by providing information, advice, guidance and practical help. At the most recent OB London Dinner in November, Sophie was the Guest Speaker where she spoke passionately about­ Hearing Help Essex and the work it carries out.
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 and winners are announced on 2nd June every year on the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Hearing Help Essex is one of just 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

Sophie Biebuyck (OB 2000-2004), Chief Executive Officer – Hearing Help Essex, said:
“We are immensely proud to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in recognition of the hard work of our volunteers and staff, without whom we simply could not provide the range of services for those living with or affected by hearing loss. To see the life changing work our charity provides has been given national recognition is a tremendous honour”.

Sophie attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May along with Rusty, her hearing dog and Kathleen Poole, volunteer of 12 years, as well as other recipients of this year’s Award. Representatives of Hearing Help Essex will receive the award from Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex at a special event later this summer.
For further information or to learn about how to support the work of Hearing Help Essex please contact Sophie Biebuyck on 01245 496347 or

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