A TEENAGER is one of 500 outstanding volunteers to be chosen as a Coronation Champion by the King and the Queen Consort for his volunteer work for Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey. 

Lee Roake, 17, was selected following a call to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5,000 applications were received with nominations made for individuals aged 14 to 103. 

The Coronation Champions Award is part of the official coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service.

Lee impressed the judges with his sterling work as a young ambassador for the 11UP blind and vision impaired (VI) young people’s group at Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey.  

The charity supports over 8,000 people in Surrey with sight and hearing loss. 

Lee, who lives in Chertsey, ensures all attendees feel welcome and comfortable, introducing them to other young blind and vision impaired people as some are attending alone for the first time. 

He has shown great empathy and understanding to other young people, and is registered blind himself. 

In addition, Lee put himself forward to risk assess a tough assault course so the 11UP VI group could participate.

The confidence Lee has acquired being an ambassador has led to him attending college, learning independent living skills, and he hopes to begin training as a DJ in September.  

With the support of Queen Camilla when she was the Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and president of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country.

All Coronation Champions were invited to attend one of the official coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party. Lee chose to attend the concert. 

Lee also received a specially designed official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties. 

“I am over the moon on receiving this award and feel very proud and privileged,” Lee said. “I am completely amazed and honoured that I was one of the 500 to be chosen.” 

Katie Wilson, volunteer manager, Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey, said:  “Lee is an outstanding volunteer and we are delighted his work has been recognised. We hope that his story will spur other people to become a volunteer.” 

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. 

“Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals who all deserve to be recognised and commended.” 

Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey is a charity that supports people who are blind, vision impaired, deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing to lead independent lives.  To receive help and support, call the helpdesk on 01372 377701 or visit www.sightforsurrey.org.uk.