Spelthorne Council are delighted that The Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton has been given the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Mayor at the Swan Sanctuary

Issued: June 2019

Spelthorne Council are delighted that The Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton has been given the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, which is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. They were presented with the award by HRH Princess Alexandra KG GCVO on 2 July 2019.

The Swan Sanctuary is a charity that is dedicated to the care and treatment of swans and waterfowl with an established worldwide reputation. This award is given to groups which are run chiefly by volunteers and provides a service which meets the needs of people living in a local community.

The Sanctuary was very proud to have been selected for the honour and commented that:

"Wehave many volunteers who give their time and effort freely to The Swan Sanctuary withoutexpecting anything in return apart from the satisfaction of helping our wildlife. We are delighted that all our volunteers have been recognised in this way."

Cllr Mary Madams, Mayor of Spelthorne, attended this special awards event and said:

"The awards ceremony was a pleasure to attend. The volunteers at The Swan Sanctuary are truly inspirational people who give so much time and attention to the swans in their care."

Cllr Vivienne Leighton, Ward Councillor for Shepperton Town, said:

"I felt it was only right that I nominated the Swan Sanctuary for this award. The hard-working volunteers deserve recognition for their dedication and commitment to saving so many of these elegant water birds all over the country."

The Swan Sanctuary is on 24-hour alert, 365 days a year. When a 'swan in distress' call comes in, the local rescue squad is on its way within minutes. At the scene the rescuers assess the situation and provide 'front-line' emergency treatment. More seriously injured birds are then rushed to the sanctuary for intensive care.

At the Sanctuary, each injured swan is examined and if necessary, X-rayed before going into our operating theatre. The theatre is the only one of its kind in the country where a full range of anaesthetic, oxygenation and surgical equipment is available. After initial treatment, each swan is transferred to the intensive care ward and closely monitored.

Once fit enough, the swan is placed in one of our outdoor rehabilitation pens with those from the area closest to its home territory. Following care, attention and highly nutritious food, the swan is ready for the most satisfying part of the sanctuary's work - the return to its natural habitat.