VOLUNTEERS from a reading charity have been given the royal seal of approval for their work in helping children to love books.

Assisted Reading for Children (ARCh) has been handed the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - the highest award a charity can receive in the UK.

On Thursday the charity's development managers Jane Rendle and Elaine Adams were handed the award by Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tm Stevenson.

They were joined by dozens of the charity's longest-serving volunteers.

The ceremony took place in the grounds of Cokethorpe School in Witney.

Ms Rendle said: "It was a wonderful day and at such a wonderful venue as well.

"We're very grateful to the school for hosting us as we wanted to make the day special for all our volunteers.

"This is for all the hard work they do and that reflects on the children they help as well."

The charity trains and supports volunteers to work one-to-one with primary school children to help spread a love of books.

Last year, it received a grant of £3,900 from the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of the Oxford Mail's parent company Gannett, to buy a host of news books.

The charity are looking for more volunteers to help develop the reading skills of the county's children.

To volunteer, or to find more information, go to archoxfordshire.org.uk.