The Village Shop, Tenbury Boxing Club and Worcester Resource Exchange have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The Village Shop in Feckenham was set up in 2009 by a group of villagers with no previous retail experience. They raised £40,000 in just 7 months and 300 villagers signed up as shareholders. Run by a team of volunteers, the Village Shop has been a resounding success, not just because a shop has returned to the village after 20 years, but also because the project has brought the wider community together, from teenagers to pensioners, enabling friendship, co-operation and a sense of pride. (For further information contact John Eaton on T: 01527 894272 or M: 07831 434330)
Tenbury Boxing Club is the run by Paddy Brennan, an experienced and qualified boxing coach with a lifetime of experience in the world of boxing, as a former Amateur International and Professional Boxer. The Club's volunteers provide local young people with a safe and secure environment, focusing them on new activities and fitness. The project also aims to build self-esteem and encourage positive behaviour. The support given by the club has had a huge impact on the lives of many in Tenbury and the surrounding area. As well as offering boxing the Club has expanded into other areas including offering keep fit and self-defence classes. (For further information contact Paddy Brennan on 0790 4396465)
Worcester Resource Exchange (WRE), based in Worcester, is a creative environmental project, diverting waste from local businesses and making it available to local people and organisations such as charities, schools, scouts and theatre groups. Supported by a team of volunteers, the project gives the local community an opportunity to obtain exciting products for reuse; these include paint, fabric, wood, and cardboard. (For further information contact Kate Brookes on 01905 726796).
The Village Shop, Tenbury Boxing Club and WRE are part of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards handed out to groups have increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
The Village Shop, Tenbury Boxing Club and WRE will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire later this summer.
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said: “I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”
The Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Lt Col Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE, said "I am delighted to be able to present this prestigious award on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, to three such worthy organisations. Volunteering is such an important part of our community; it is not only essential to the success of many charitable organisations, but it is also an excellent way of making new friends and learning new skills. I am very much looking forward to meeting the volunteers and learning more about the important work they do when I present the Awards later this month."
He added: "I would also like to encourage nominations for next year. I know we have some excellent organisations in this County who rely on the support of Volunteers and I would urge the community to nominate these organisations for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. The closing date for nominations is the 18 September and details can be found on the QAWS website http://www.qavs.direct.gov.uk/."
Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Localism and Communities said: "What an honour to bestow on three magnificent Worcestershire based services. The voluntary sector is the lifeline to any community and Worcestershire is full of volunteers and organisations that go out of their way to help others and promote their cause. I commend these services and hope that they celebrate such a fantastic achievement. Well done all involved and what a marvellous example of #worldclassworcs at its best."