The dedication of teams of committed volunteers in Wolverhampton has been recognised after 7 organisations they represent received the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

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It is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK, presented for outstanding achievement by people who regularly volunteer their own time to enhance and improve the lives of others.

Awards were given to Access to Business, Ashmore Park Community Association, Bilston Town Community Football Club, Hope Community Project, Interfaith Wolverhampton, Jai Jashn Dance and The Haven Wolverhampton.

Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Elias Mattu, whose theme for his Mayoral year is recognising the value of volunteering, said: "Charities and volunteers do tremendous work helping the most needy and vulnerable people in our City, and I am delighted that these 7 groups have been recognised in this way.

"We have thousands of fantastic volunteers in Wolverhampton who give up their valuable time to support others, and it is wonderful that so many are now the proud recipients of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service."

Access to Business provides critical specialist support services for the unemployed, specialising in support for people with disabilities and health problems.

Ashmore Park Community Association offers a welcoming space where all ages come together for a wide range of activities and events which promote physical, social and mental wellbeing.

Bilston Town Community Football Club provides free or affordable educational coaching and access for young people to watch live sport.

Hope Community Project supports the most vulnerable and forgotten people of all ages living in the Heath Town area of Wolverhampton.

Interfaith Wolverhampton has, for more than 40 years, been dedicated to promoting dialogue, understanding and community cohesion between people of different faiths and cultures.

Jai Jashn Dance delivers Bollywood based community classes, exploring the dance heritage of India with members able to positively demonstrate and promote its diversity.

The Haven Wolverhampton works hard to support vulnerable women and children who are victims of domestic abuse and homelessness to regain their place in society.

Access to Business Chief Executive Josie Kelly said: "We are absolutely honoured and delighted to have received our Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

"For over 15 years we have been providing services for unemployed and disabled people in our City to improve their skills and confidence and support their route to employment.

"Volunteers play a vitally important role in supporting our work and include our volunteer Board of Directors and many local volunteers supporting and promoting our work helping others to improve their lives."

Ann Wood, Chair of Ashmore Park Community Association, said: "I am bursting with pride. This is a great honour and privilege for our charity and all our volunteers who work so hard to provide facilities and activities for others.

"They will be delighted to know that they are award winners - and not just any awards winners, they are now Queen's Award Winners for Voluntary Service."

Many of the nominations were supported by the City of Wolverhampton Council which worked closely with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Lieutenancy Assessment Assessor Sylvia Parkin MBE, from Tettenhall. She said: "I am delighted that these 7 worthy groups of volunteers have been recognised in this way.

"It is impossible to overestimate the impact their organisations have on the people of Wolverhampton, and the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service highlights their commitment to the city and its residents."

To be nominated for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service an organisation must provide a service that meets a need for people living in the local community, be supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it and be run locally.

For more details, please visit Type=links;Linkid=8513;Title=West Midlands Lieutenancy;Target=_blank; or Type=links;Linkid=8514;Title=The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Tuesday 6 June, 2017