A lifesaving charity which runs shops in Shropshire and has helped communities across the county has celebrated its tenth birthday by being presented with the King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

AEDdonate – which provides vital defibrillators to communities throughout the UK – received the award from His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian James Dudson CBE KStJ, at a special event at its headquarters in Stone.

The award is the highest honour a voluntary group can receive in the UK and was given in recognition of its work to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and teach people how to deliver CPR and use a defibrillator.

The charity, which employs 17 people, has more than 100 volunteers and three shops in Stone, Newport and Market Drayton.

AEDdonate founder and chief executive Jamie Richards said the presentation was a hugely proud moment for everyone involved in the charity.

“I cannot describe how thrilled I am for everyone involved with AEDdonate to receive this award. We have been on an incredible journey over the last ten years and this is the most wonderful recognition of the work we do.”

Since being formed in 2014, AEDdonate has provided some 5,000 defibrillators to communities around the country which are thought to have saved around 100 lives. It has also raised £7million to help fund the equipment, install it and train people in its use.

“None of that work would have been possible without our incredible team of staff, trustees, volunteers and supporters. This award is for each and every one of them. To be recognised by the King for everything they do is something of which they can all be rightly proud.”

Lord-Lieutenant Ian Dudson said: “I come across many charities that are truly changing lives and in addition to doing this, AEDdonate are also saving them.

“Their focus on ensuring that the defibrillators provided remain in good working order maximises the potential for swift medical intervention when needed.

“I congratulate the organisation on this award and I add my thanks to all the volunteers for making it happen.”

The charity is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a special birthday ball at the Doubletree Hilton in Stoke on Trent on April 6, featuring a three-course meal, dancing and entertainment and a special auction featuring fabulous prizes including signed Stoke City and Port Vale shirts.

Tickets for the ball, which gets under way with a champagne reception at 7pm, are £45 each and can be booked at https://www.aeddonate.org.uk/product/ticket-10th-birthday-ball/

Pictured: Jamie Richards, the Lord-Lieutenant Ian Dudson, AEDdonate head of operations Rachel Richards and chair of trustees Phil Walker at the presentation.