NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) heads to London to celebrate The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award with a royal garden party.

After NYAS received the award in December, Group CEO Rita Waters and longstanding employee and volunteer Alyson Sefton took to London to mark the occasion at Buckingham Palace, where they were joined by members of the royal family.

Alyson was selected by NYAS to attend to recognise the dedidcation she has shown to the charity over the last 20 years.


NYAS Group CEO Rita Waters and IV Coordinator Alyson Sefton head to the Palace.


The Jubilee Award, which is an addition to the Late Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, is the first of its kind and has been given to 20 national charities that work to empower young people aged between 16 and 25. The award showcases charities and volunteers who have shown exceptional efforts in supporting and empowering young people across the country.

NYAS relies on the generosity of its team of over 600 volunteers to help support and deliver vital services to care-experienced children and young people across England and Wales.

His Majesty The King personally approved the awardees and invited recipients to attend a celebration at the palace. This comes just days before the King’s Coronation on May 6th.


Alyson’s Journey

Alyson started her time with NYAS in 2003 as an Independent Visitor in the Pan Gwent area. She spent two years supporting and offering friendship to young people in care, helping them to build skills and learn invaluable life lessons.

In 2005, she joined the NYAS workforce as a Disability Development while continuing her volunteer role alongside work. It was at this time that Alyson set her heart on becoming an Independent Visitor (IV) Coordinator.

11 years later and her dream job was secured, and Alyson is now responsible for the recruiting, screening and training of volunteers to become Volunteer Independent Visitors. After starting the new role, a cut in payments to IV saw a huge drop in volunteers. This left many children without an IV match. Alyson made the decision to take these children out herself and act as their IV, offering them much needed guidance and support until they were successfully matched.

Throughout her time as a NYAS employee, Alyson has continued to volunteer as an IV with a young person in Cardiff, and she remains in contact with one of the young people she supported. For over 20 years Alyson has been changing the lives of children and young people and a visit to the Palace seems fitting as a thank you from NYAS.