Croydon Vision, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on the 6th of October 2023, is among the recipients of the King's Award for Voluntary Service.
This is a very important milestone for a charity that has been working with Croydon’s blind and visually impaired community for the past 100 years. For the charity to receive King’s awards in the year it celebrated its centenary is a great coincidence.
Croydon vision, formerly known as Croydon Voluntary Association for the Blind, was formed in July 1923. In 1982, Queen Elizabeth visited Croydon Vision to support the services and show appreciation for the volunteers who are at the centre of the organisation. The charity has been transforming the lives of its members and has now about 900 members.
Susanette Mansour the Chief Executive of the charity said, “This award marks a significant milestone in our history. It symbolizes the collective efforts of our volunteers, staff, and supporters who tirelessly work towards a more inclusive and supportive environment for the visually impaired community.” She further said, “This award is more than just a plaque on the wall. It's an affirmation of our influence that extends beyond our immediate community. Being likened to an MBE for volunteer groups, it underscores the importance of our collective societal contributions.”. Susanette continued, “This award isn't just about Croydon Vision; it's a testament to the transformative impact volunteer groups can have on society. It serves as a call to consider the role we can individually and collectively play in creating supportive and strong communities through giving back. This milestone is a celebration of our community's strength, resilience, and generosity. It's a reminder that together, we can overcome challenges and create positive change.” In extending her thanks, Susanette further said, " To all Croydon Vision volunteers, supporters, and community - this award is as much yours as it is ours. Let’s continue to shine the light on inclusivity, understanding, and support, making our community a beacon of hope for all. Thank you for being an important part of our journey, and here's to more achievements together!”
Kwame Dartey, a member and volunteer since 2017, shares his journey, saying, "I've gained confidence knowing that I'm not alone with my disability and found a new purpose by contributing as a volunteer. This experience has enriched my life."
Similarly, Jim Smith, another long-time member and volunteer, expressed his appreciation for the organisation's growth and activities. He said, ''I have been here for about 10 years and witnessed remarkable transformations. Our leader Susanette’s brilliant helm has initiated a myriad of events, excursions and classes making Croydon Vision increasingly accessible. It's an organisation I love being a part of, spending 3-4 days a week here witnessing and contributing to the change.''
Finally, Christine Rose described volunteering at Croydon Vision as a "life saver" recommending others to share in the satisfaction of making a difference.
Full list of the 2023 Kings Awards for voluntary service is in the following link