My Life My Choice recently won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. To celebrate, we were given an invitation for two representatives from the charity to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace. We nominated Paul and Steve – two of our trustees who have learning disabilities.
Paul explains what it was like…
When Bryan called me to tell me about the event, I said “Yes! I would definitely love to go.”
He put my name forward and then I got an invitation through the post. It’s got the stamp of the Queen on it. I’m going to get it framed.
On the day of the event, I met Steve at the office and we walked together to the bus station. We took a coach to Victoria and then walked to the palace. It was quite easy to find our way.
When we got to the front of the palace, there were a lot of police and guards. We went to where we had to hand the ticket in and they let us in through the gates.
I have walked past Buckingham Palace before and always wondered what it was like behind the gates – I couldn’t believe that I got to find out!
We went through the archway into a courtyard, and then through and into the garden.
The garden was massive! It had a big pond, a tennis court, loads and loads of flowers. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it all looked.
Steve and I walked around the garden and took photographs. We chatted to some of the other guests. Not everybody was from a charity. We spoke to a woman whose husband used to work on a Navy ship, and two police officers from Yorkshire.
We got to the tent where food and drink were being served. There was a long queue but it was worth the wait! The sandwiches were very small but tasty, and the tea was really nice.
Once we had gotten our food, Her Majesty The Queen came out into the garden. Everyone stood up and sang the National Anthem.
Steve and I tried to get forward to see her but we couldn’t get to the front. I stood on a chair to take some photographs.
When we were looking at The Queen there was security on the roof with guns, looking down at us.
After the party ended, I went to the shop to buy some souvenirs for my friends and family.
We got the coach home again and I met my wife at Bingo so that I could tell her all about it.
What an incredible day!