Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service: 21 groups in Greater Manchester receive country’s top civic honour

More groups from the city-region have been recognised for sterling work in their communities than any other.

Community groups across Greater Manchester are celebrating after receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the highest honour that can be bestowed on a grassroots organisation.

In total 21 groups in the city-region have received the prestigious accolade.

Paying tribute to the hard work for their communities of all the recipients, the GM Lieutenancy said on social media that more of the awards had been given out in Greater Manchester than any other part of the UK.

What is the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service?

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the most prestigious award a community group in the UK can receive.

It recognises outstanding efforts by volunteers and grassroots organisations to benefit their local communities.

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It was created to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2022 and the winners are announced on 2 June, the anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation, each year.

The winners will be presented with their awards by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and two representatives from each organisation will be invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Nominations for the 2023 awards close on 15 September and groups can be put forward online here.

Who are the 2022 recipients in Greater Manchester?

The full list of Greater Manchester’s 21 recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is:

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Bolton North East Wildlife Trail - a group which preserves a local wildlife corridor and increases knowledge and love of the green space in the community.

Corrie Gardeners Community Group - residents of a housing estate who started out as a gardening club but now run a food bank and drop-in cafe, organise social activities and do community clean-ups.

Bolton Newstalk - a free weekly round-up of local news for people who are visually impaired or disabled..

Lancashire Mining Museum - a group at Astley Green that turned a shut-down coal mine into a museum celebrating the area’s industrial past.

Rock It Bolton CIC - a not-for-profit organisation providing musical opportunities for young people in an area of high deprivation.

Talking about my Generation - people aged 60 and over who are trained to produce articles, podcasts and videos to share topics they are interested in and combat ageism.

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Bolton Carers Support - a group for adult carers with a 24-hour helpline, respite breaks, workshops and a befriending scheme.

MS Therapy Centre (NW) - a facility providing therapies and counselling for people with multiple sclerosis.

Think Ahead Stroke - a Wigan-based organisation with programmes of support, advice, information and training for stroke survivors and their carers and relatives.

Bolton Free Cakes for Kids - a group making, decorating and delivering cakes to young people who would not usually have a sweet treat for their birthday.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force - an organisation which uses the Cadets framework to inspire young people and make them more resilience by teaching discipline, respect and skills.

Soup Kitchen Rochdale - a service providing free homemade meals and emergency food parcels for adults and families on the breadline which also signposts to community services which can help them.

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Azamrah Youth Club - a provision of activities during school holidays for disadvantaged young people in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Bury2gether - a network in the town which supports children and young adults with special educational needs.

Connect Youth and Community Centre - a facility promoting well-being and tackling social isolation and loneliness in inner-city Salford with events, a community garden and cafe,and telephone outreach.

Visit From The Stork CIC - a not-for-profit which gives cash-strapped new mums practical and mental health support.

Dimobi Children Disability Trust - an organisation which works to tackle negative stereotypes of learning disabilities among black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in the Newton Heath area.

The Pelican Centre - an organisation founded by volunteers in Tyldesley to save a local swimming baths from closures which now in addition to the pool has other sports and community facilities on site including a gym and rooms to be hired.

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Rammy Men - a group supporting mental health through creating spaces, running activities and an accessible network which is also currently writing a book to help men.

The Attic Project - an organisation in Bury which helps vulnerable people through debt and welfare advice, a weekly work club, digital skill course, social meets and healthy living classes.

The Shed - a project which provides activities for older residents in Tameside to boost their wellbeing.

What has been said about the Greater Manchester recipients?

The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Sir Warren Smith, said: “This award recognises the contribution an organisation makes within its community. It is a rare honour.

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“It is not won easily, and it recognises real achievement, effort, and a major contribution to the community.

“The last two years have highlighted just how valuable volunteering is to the country, with groups innovatively continuing their valuable work in the community, despite the restrictions and threat of the virus and I hope many more will be nominated in the future.”

On Twitter the GM Lieutenancy also shared its pride that there were more award recipients in the city-region than any other area, saying it showed the area was “blessed with selfless people”.