BISHOP'S Waltham Community First Responders has been recognised at royal level.

The trained volunteers who are dispatched to emergency calls across the Meon Valley have received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

This is the highest award a voluntary group in the UK can get.

Leader Andrew Brown said: “It is fantastic to receive such a high-level award and know that what we do is recognised and appreciated.”

The group have been together for more than 17 years and provide emergency life-saving care.

Trained by the South Central Ambulance Service, volunteers arrive before the ambulance to provide vital early intervention.

They also attend non-injury falls and welfare checks to ensure that unnecessary hospital admissions are avoided.

The group serve a population of around 15,000, attending patients in Swanmore, Waltham Chase, Upham and the surrounding villages.

BWCFP are one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year.

They have been recognised in the past, in 2017 having won the National UK Heart Safe Award for Community Responder Scheme of the Year.

Representatives of Bishop’s Waltham Community First Responders will receive the award from The Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire later this summer.

Two volunteers from the group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021.

Paul Pritchard said: !I feel very honoured to be part of a group that has received this wonderful award in recognition of our contribution to the local community. Hopefully, it will raise awareness and encourage others to join us."