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The BBC's Nicholas Witchell reports
"The Queen heard from people who gave up their spare time"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 15:55 GMT
Royal thanks for volunteers

The Queen watches children playing
The Queen watches children playing a math game at a North London school

The Queen has paid tribute to people who give up their time to do all types of voluntary work throughout Britain.

Along with Prince Philip and the Princess Royal, she visited a number of organisations helped by volunteers.

The Queen and the Princess Royal met Victim Support volunteers who counsel victims of crime throughout the UK.

Ivana Quarm, Ivana Quarm, seven. performs a traditional Ghanaian dance for the Queen
The Princess Royal told the launch of a Victim Support volunteer recruitment campaign in central London the organisation would not exist without its volunteers.

She applauded their work stressing, the "value volunteers can bring to people's lives in terms of replacing confidence and rebuilding lives that have been severely affected by crime."

"What you offer is a very practical way of responding and a very emotional response," she told volunteers.

The Queen also visited Alsen Day Centre, for older people, in Holloway, north London, whose staff are supported by volunteers

She joined a reminiscence class where clients discuss their life experiences.

She then looked in on a movement-to-music class, run by volunteers.

Volunteers help teachers

The Queen also went to nearby Duncombe Primary School, in Holloway, where volunteers help teachers.

She joined a maths class and was treated to a traditional Ghanaian dance by seven-year-old pupil Ivana Quarm.

The Duke of Edinburgh visited London Wildlife Trust's Camley Street Natural Park, in King's Cross.

The Queen The Queen met emergency service workers on a previous theme day
He meet volunteers helping to maintain the two-acre green site next to Regent's Canal.

At Arsenal Football Club's ground, Highbury, in north London, the Duke presented certificates to eight sixth-formers from Goffs School, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

They have been giving local nine to 11-year-olds reading and writing tuition under Arsenal's Double Club literacy scheme.

Prince Philip also watched the final stages of a five-a-side football tournament involving youth teams run by volunteers, and presented medals to the winners and runners-up.

In the evening, a reception will be held at Buckingham Palace for about 650 volunteers.

22 million adults in the UK take part in a voluntary activity each year, according to a 1997 survey.

This is the fourth in a series of "theme days" the Royal Family has taken part in.

On previous theme days, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family have met people involved in the theatre, the City and the emergency services.

Palace officials say it gives them an opportunity to gain a coherent picture of a particular field of work.

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23 Feb 00 |  Education
Queen meets 'bully busters'

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