Duchess of Cornwall names Portsmouth charity bosses as the 'backbone' of Britain for their incredible work supporting families of people with Down's Syndrome

A FAMILY of charity ‘champions’ have been hailed as ‘the backbone’ of the nation by the Duchess of Cornwall after bagging a prestigious jubilee accolade.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 7:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th June 2022, 11:20 am
Flying the flag: Rachael Ross, her son Max, 17, and husband Ken. Rachael and Ken have been named as Platinum Champions, celebrating Britain's best volunteers, while Max has been named as a baton carrier ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Flying the flag: Rachael Ross, her son Max, 17, and husband Ken. Rachael and Ken have been named as Platinum Champions, celebrating Britain's best volunteers, while Max has been named as a baton carrier ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Dedicated husband and wife duo Rachael and Ken Ross have been crowned as ‘Platinum Champions’ by Camilla in a new award celebrating Britain’s most outstanding volunteers.

Rachael and Ken, who are the chairman and vice-chairman of the award-winning Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association, were among 490 winners of the prestigious gong.

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Left to right: Rachael Ross, Eloise Towns, Tom Ross, Max Ross and Ken Ross in London ahead of the jubilee lunch with the Duchess of Cornwall

They were recognised for their inspirational work supporting hundreds of families across the country and leading a successful fight to have parliament green-light the historic Down’s Syndrome Bill, which guarantees those with the condition lifelong care and support.

The Duchess was so impressed with Rachael and Ken’s work that she has invited them to join her and the Prince of Wales at The Oval cricket ground for the Big Jubilee Lunch, alongside 68 of the best Platinum Champions, this weekend.

Praising the winners, Camilla said: ‘The Platinum Champions Awards, launched by Royal Voluntary Service in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 years of service, have given us the opportunity to celebrate the remarkable contribution of all volunteers, who truly are the backbone of our country.

‘Congratulations to all our Platinum Champions – and my heartfelt thanks to you and to the millions of volunteers across the UK who give their time and talents so generously.’

Rachael, of Hinton Daubnay near Lovedean, said she and Ken were ‘bursting with pride’ and couldn’t wait to dine with the royals.

‘It was a real surprise,’ she added. ‘We’re still not sure who nominated us. It was just wonderful.

‘It’s been such a busy year with the charity. So to get that surprise through the post was really lovely. We’re bursting with pride.’

And it was a double celebration for the Ross family, as their son Max, 17, was named as a batonbearer for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Max, who has Down’s syndrome, said: ‘I’m really excited to be part of the Queen’s baton relay team and I’m going to try my best.’

Rachael added: ‘We’re so proud of him. He works so hard. He is at every event we do. He’s an ambassador and is at the forefront of everything we do.’