Two outstanding Worcestershire volunteer-led groups will receive the King’s Award for Voluntary Service, it has been announced today.
This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
The two Worcestershire recipients, JIGSAW and Ourside Youth Association, are among 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
JIGSAW (Worcestershire Mental Health Relative & Carer’s Support Group) based in Worcester and Malvern, was set up in 1996 to promote awareness of mental health services and empowering carers in a safe, confidential, supportive environment.
JIGSAW is a unique resource in Worcestershire that provides the tools for carers to better understand and communicate with their loved ones.
Jigsaw founder and secretary Sue Nichols, who has spearheaded the group’s efforts since its inception, said, “We are so grateful and honoured to receive this recognition from King Charles III. Our volunteers and Trustees, aim to improve carers health and wellbeing and the resilience to carry on with their vital role. Our team devote their time to supporting carers and promoting awareness of mental health services in our community. This award is a testament to their passion and dedication.”
The second winner, Ourside Youth Association, based in Evesham is a charity dedicated to helping support young people in the community.
Creating an inclusive environment where their voices are heard. First established by a group of young people in 2004 who had nowhere to go and wanted to do something about it. They provide free support and engaging activities in a youth led environment. They understand how important it is for teenagers and young adults to have a place to go where they can find support and talk to someone who empathises with them.
Carly Elwell, founding member and Chair of Ourside Youth Association, said: ‘Receiving this award means so much to us in recognising the passion and dedication of everyone who makes Ourside so special and makes a difference to so many young people’s lives.’
The Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Mrs Beatrice Grant will present JIGSAW and Ourside with their award crystal and certificate.
On the award winners and the recognition received, Mrs Beatrice Grant, Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the work and the services that these two inspiring voluntary groups provide have been recognised with this prestigious award. They both do valuable work in their local community, supporting others and helping to make life better for those around them.”
Two volunteers from each group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Recipients are announced annually on 14 November, The King’s Birthday.
The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award.