Queen hosts Windsor Castle charity reception for volunteers

The Queen has hosted more than 200 guests from voluntary organisations at a reception at Windsor Castle.

The event celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), of which the Queen is a patron.

Queen host reception for the NCVO
The Queen met Louise Munro during the reception (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Among the organisations represented at the reception was Leap Confronting Conflict, based in Finsbury Park, north London, which provides workshops in managing conflict for young people who are involved in gangs or excluded from schools.

Trustee Chantal Chang, who spoke to the Queen about her role, told the Press Association: “With gang violence on the rise at the moment, I think it’s prime time for the Queen to be involved in something like this.

“We have so many young kids dying on the streets so her being a part of this movement is vital.”

The Queen also shook hands with NCVO chairman Peter Kellner and chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington in St George’s Hall.

Other guests were welcomed in the Grand Reception Room by the Queen, who wore a Karl Ludwig dress and jacket in aqua blue with a Cullinan diamond drop brooch.

Queen host reception for the NCVO
The Princess Royal spoke to reception guests (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester also chatted with reception guests.

The Queen is involved with more than 600 patronages which cover every area of the charity and voluntary sector.

She supports two awards, created to recognise the work of volunteers – The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and the Commonwealth Points of Light Award.

Queen host reception for the NCVO
The Queen wore a Karl Ludwig dress and jacket (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Sir Stuart said: “The royal family have been our patron for 100 years and that’s very important to us.

“We represent charities in Britain and the Queen has always been involved in charitable activity.

“This endorsement is massive for us and very important, it’s a wonderful thing she’s done.”

He added: “We were talking a little bit about the patron’s lunch on The Mall for her 90th, which I chaired.

“We remember that day with great affection to celebrate her involvement in charitable activity.”

The NCVO was founded in 1919 as the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) before being renamed in 1980 as the NCVO, which has helped to establish independent charities such as Age UK, Citizens Advice and the Youth Hostels Association.

The organisation was first established using a gift from a voluntary sector pioneer who was killed in the First World War.

Edward Birchall died aged just 32 during the Battle of the Somme and left a legacy of £1,000 – equivalent to around £85,500 in 2018 according to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator.

He had been a leading figure in the “guilds of help” movement of the time, a forerunner to social services, and his gift was used to set up the NCSS.

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