Two representatives from the British Science Association attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace earlier this week in acknowledgment of their significant contributions to the work of the BSA.

This year, Ellie Chambers, Project Officer, and Peter Giblin, volunteer for our Maths Section, were invited to the Garden Party on the 12 May. The Palace gates opened that afternoon, shortly before the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family arrived to greet the guests.

Each year, the BSA is granted two invitations to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Approximately 8,000 guests attend each time, representing a range of organisations, including staff and volunteers from a number of national charities. The two invitations we receive are given to one of our longest serving staff members, and one of our volunteers, as a thank you for the significant contribution they have made to the work of the BSA.

Ellie Chambers has worked at the Association for almost 8 years, supporting the development of our youth voice initiatives such as the CREST Youth Panel and supporting our youth volunteers in the National Science + Engineering Competition. She has also coordinated the UK delegations and represented the UK at international Science Fairs and is now working in the Cultural Development team helping coordinate the Science Communication Conference and Media Fellow scheme for 2015.

Ellie said: “Representing the British Science Association at such a wonderful occasion was a real privilege. When I met the Duke of Edinburgh, I was struck as to how generous he was with his time, taking the chance to chat with everyone and often making a little joke to put people at ease. We discussed my role at the BSA and the strong link between the CREST Awards and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and he kindly pointed out some guests with a professional background in education he thought I should try and meet.”

Peter Giblin, a long-standing volunteer from our Mathematical Sciences Section, was also selected to attend. Peter, professor of mathematics at the University of Liverpool, has been heavily involved in putting together content for the British Science Festival for several years. He was previously the section chair, or ‘recorder’, and after stepping down from his role, continues to be involved with the section as a committee member.

Peter said: “I was impressed by the superb organisation of the event, with the top-hatted Equerries from the armed forces masterminding the groups to be presented to the Royals. There was a festive atmosphere and luckily the weather was sunny - if a little breezy for all those ladies' hats!”

Ivvet Modinou, Head of Engagement at the BSA said: “Our volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the work of the BSA. They take on a wide range of roles to support activity across the organisation, including planning and delivering public events, supporting the British Science Festival and engaging the public during British Science Week. We are extremely grateful for Peter’s work as a member of our Maths Section, and we hope he will continue to inspire people with science for many years to come.”

If you are interested in volunteering with the BSA, we would love to hear from you. We offer a diverse range of volunteer roles across the UK, and you don’t have to be a scientist to volunteer with us. Information about all of the roles that we offer can be found on our volunteering page.