The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux, presented the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the charity Include Project at a celebration – the Christmas Big Sing – held in St Matthew’s Church Redhill on 14th December. The citation was read out by Roshan Bailey, who was one of the assessors of the charity following its nomination.
After a warm welcome from the founder of Include and its CEO Alix Lewer, (who used Makaton signing), a large gathering, including the High Sheriff, enjoyed a variety of songs performed by members of the Include Choir. (A second choir has recently been formed.) The choir meets every week and is open to anyone, whatever their difficulties. The presentation brought delight to all involved with this special group of people. Their happiness was evident from their singing and from the dancing of some. It all made for a wonderfully happy occasion.
The Include Project’s vision is to ensure everyone is included through the right communication. Include provides community projects, training and consultancy combining music, creativity and speech and language therapy expertise, teaching people better ways of including and involving people with understanding or speaking difficulties. By music, games, cake and laughter all people can be included and their potential realised. Learners with a range of communication difficulties can be given digital education.
It was a great pleasure to learn about what this charity does and to hear the choir, the members of which plainly derive such enjoyment from their singing as well as the contact and friendships they have with others.