THE Friends of Dolphin charity has been presented with the coveted Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell made the presentation at the charity's Poole base earlier this month.

Formed almost 40 years ago, the charity gives free trips around Poole Harbour to people with disabilities.

The prestigious award, often referred to as the MBE fort charities, was accompanied by an official citation signed by the Queen.

Charity chairman Ray Kipling said: "It is a great honour to receive this award which reflects thousands of hours of voluntary service given by crews and fundraisers for the Dolphin charity over many years.

"The Lord Lieutenant made some very kind remarks about our work for which we were very grateful."

The Friends of Dolphin was founded by the Parkstone Rotary Club.

Since then the charity has taken more than 45,000 disabled people and their carers on Poole Harbour trips.

The boat, Dolphin III, is crewed entirely by volunteers.