My husband and I are very proud to be the patrons of this nationwide search, which is being run by WRVS to recognise the enormous contribution of this priceless generation who, despite reaching an age when many people start to think about slowing down, continue to give their time, experience and energy to others without expecting anything in return.

Last week I had the privilege of meeting a remarkable 78-year-old volunteer at Queensway ice rink in London. Alice Hanrahan has worked tirelessly to help hundreds of young skaters all over the country prepare for their important skating examinations.

Like many volunteers she has quietly devoted thousands of hours of her time to helping them.

Alice, like so many others, is exactly the kind of hidden gem the Diamond Champions campaign is trying to find during Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

My husband and I are very proud to be the patrons of this nationwide search, which is being run by WRVS to recognise the enormous contribution of this priceless generation who, despite reaching an age when many people start to think about slowing down, continue to give their time, experience and energy to others without expecting anything in return.

Later this year, we will have the immense pleasure of meeting some of these Diamond Champions in person.

We both look forward to hearing about their extraordinary acts of kindness and to thanking them at a party to celebrate their unstinting service and dedication to their communities and to the nation.