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City Year Mentors at Buckingham Palace Garden Party!

On Wednesday 3 May, two City Year UK volunteers, Ashley Nyamhunga and Harry Milligan, had the privilege of attending the first Buckingham Palace Garden Party of King Charles III’s reign. Representing City Year, they mingled with more than 5,000 guests and enjoyed the celebratory atmosphere ahead of His Majesty’s coronation on May 6th.

In addition to King Charles III and the Queen Consort, the Duke of Edinburgh and 500 “Coronation Champions”, selected by the Royal Voluntary Service for their exceptional volunteering efforts in local communities, were also present.

City Year UK received an invitation to the event after being honoured as one of 20 recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award. This prestigious award marks both Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and 20 years of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and is personally approved by His Majesty the King.

The award recognises charities for their outstanding work in supporting 16-25 year olds across the UK, with volunteering being a crucial aspect of their efforts. Ashley and Harry’s attendance at the garden party was a reflection of the important role that volunteer mentors play at City Year.

Reflecting on the experience, Ashley, who serves at Perryfields Academy in the West Midlands, said: “It has truly been an immense honour as well as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent City Year at the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace this year. It was such a unique and fun experience to be a part of. I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery, lively atmosphere as well as delicious food. I know that I will savour this moment for the rest of my life.”

Harry added: “The highlight of the garden party, for me, was the arrival of the Royal Family and His Majesty the King, who shared their warm hospitality. I felt honoured to have this opportunity and I enjoyed every moment.”

At City Year, we are thrilled to have been recognised both through this award and the invitation to Buckingham Palace – it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteer mentors who support young people in schools across the country. Support our work here.

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