QAVS celebrating this year’s awardees and encouraging nominations for 2020

We are so proud of the five amazing local groups who achieved this prestigious award in borough and we will be sharing stories on these groups in weekly posts each Monday for the next 5 weeks.  It seems particularly important to recognise their contributions during Volunteers Week 2020.

Here are these amazing groups

  • Discover U, based in Wollaston, Stourbridge, provides skills to people with learning and physical difficulties to help them into employment and has a café on site open to the public.
  • Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust(DCTT) maintains and supports an internationally important heritage site, ensuring the canals and limestone mines remain at the heart of the community. Visitor numbers reached nearly 100,000 per year in 2018.
  • Dudley Voices for Choicegives people with learning disabilities and autism a voice on how life experiences can be improved. The charity supported nearly 700 people last year.
  • St John’s Church Preservation Groupis a team of volunteers which battled successfully to protect and preserve the historic church in Kates Hill, as well as putting on scores of community events.
  • The Connect Project, now based in Brierley Hill, helped more than 600 people under the age of 35 find employment last year.

A message from the Lord Lieutenant for the Midlands, talking about this year’s nominations.

What is the award?

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Any group doing voluntary work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community.”

How to nominate

Please visit the information page on the Volunteer Centre blog.

Stars No. 5 – This is a salute to all those wonderful people who are selflessly keeping the country going during this crisis often at risk to themselves.

Jayne & Steve Waltho

I’ve kept my head down volunteering in the strange world of the Covid crisis but today need to pay tribute to WONDERFUL PEOPLE who give so much expecting little or nothing in return. My dear Jayne of whom I’m always proud (she coordinated our neighbours VE Day ‘social distancing’ celebrations and whose Birthday incidentally is tomorrow) has been volunteering with me since the start of the crisis three days a week at Black Country Foodbank with a brilliant group of like-minded volunteers whose only objective is to help those so much less fortunate. One day my colleague Councillor Chris Barnett cycled in to announce he’d cycled (mostly on a roller track) several hundred miles to raise £2000 for the Foodbank! Thank you to all. Jayne has to be very careful as she is mindful of her extremely vulnerable mother. I’ve also contributed in a very small way to the brilliant unsung NHS volunteer force at Russell’s Hall both delivering Pharmacy items to members of the community and doing a few stints within the hospital …. simple but important stuff like ferrying notes, medicines and sometimes people from one area to another. Yesterday afternoon was rather busy and gave me a real humbling insight into the huge pressure these NHS heroes are working under … in one ward I was asked to wear a mask to simply walk five yards to deliver patient notes to the reception desk. Many staff have to wear this stuff for several hours … not sure I could do that☹️. Then there are random acts of real kindness … an ice cream seller came in requesting permission to donate to the workforce during the Thursday night clap 👏 and when the NHS patient ambulance coordinator said she was due to finish shortly he offered free ice creams to all medics & volunteers there on the spot … didn’t need asking twice on a warm afternoon!! This is a salute to all those wonderful people who are selflessly keeping the country going during this crisis often at risk to themselves. Maybe one day they’ll be properly rewarded😡. Wishing you and your families good health and keep safe in these unprecedented times 🤞❤️