The Mayor of Wolverhampton has praised "local heroes" whose "tireless efforts" have helped the organisations they represent receive prestigious awards.

Type=image;ImageID=9904;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Representatives from Wolves and Bilston Athletics Club;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=9905;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Representatives from Aspiring Futures;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=9906;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Representatives from the Good Shepherd Ministry;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=9907;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=All received the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service;TitleClass=strong;

Mayor Councillor Barry Findlay hosted a reception yesterday (Monday 6 June) attended by dozens of volunteers from Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club, the Good Shepherd Ministry and Aspiring Futures, which were last week named as recipients of the Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. It is presented for outstanding achievement by groups who regularly volunteer their own time to enhance and improve the lives of others.

Speaking at yesterday's reception, Mayor Councillor Findlay said: "We're in the middle of Volunteers Week, so this is a perfect time to celebrate the tireless efforts of the many volunteers who have helped their organisations receive these prestigious awards.

"We are huge supporters of volunteers, and it is an honour to be able to recognise the efforts of people and groups who give up their time to support others.

"They are all local heroes, who are adding that all important extra something to other people's lives."

Colin Thompson, chairman of Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club, based at WV Active Aldersley, said: "We are very proud to have even been considered for this award, which is recognition of the hard work of our volunteers. They are our lifeblood, giving their time and energy without a second thought, and we couldn't run the club without them."

Brother Stephen Brennan of the Darlington Street based Good Shepherd Ministry, which provides a vital foodbank and food distribution service to needy people in the city, said: "We help more than 250 individuals and families every day of the year, and it is wonderful to see the work that many volunteers do for the poor and needy in our city has been recognised in this way."

Maliha Fazal, of Aspiring Futures, a Wolverhampton based organisation which supports women from diverse backgrounds, enhancing their quality of life, improving career prospects and enabling them to enjoy better health and wellbeing, added: "We are so grateful for the support our volunteers give us and our service users. As well as helping our service users, they are helping themselves too, by developing their job skills and employability - in fact many of our volunteers have gone on to get paid work, either with Aspiring Futures or elsewhere, which is great for them."

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "We have thousands of fantastic volunteers in Wolverhampton, who are giving up their valuable time to support others through organisations and other services operating across the city - many of which are also supported by the council. It is wonderful that these three very worthy causes have each received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service."

For more information about Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club, please call 07758 893169 or visit Type=links;Linkid=6525;Title=Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club;Target=_blank;. For information about the Good Shepherd Ministry, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7238;Title=Good Shepherd Ministry;Target=_blank;, and to find out more about the work of Aspiring Futures, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7239;Title=Aspiring Futures;Target=_blank;. For details of Volunteers Week, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7240;Title=Volunteers Week;Target=_blank;.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the equivalent to an MBE for the organisation which receives it. The announcements were made alongside the Birthday Honours list.

Any group of 2 or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, with nominations welcomed from people who have benefited from their work, members of the public, representatives of public bodies or other voluntary groups. For more details, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7235;Title=The West Midlands Lieutenancy;Target=_blank; or Type=links;Linkid=7236;Title=GOV.UK;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Tuesday 7 June, 2016