1:47pm Wednesday 4th June 2014
OVER-JOYED volunteers at The Hope Centre in Halesowen are off to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace next week.
The volunteers who help run the centre have been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
The award is the equivalent of an MBE and is given each year on the anniversary of the Queen's coronation to groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to help the lives of others.
Wendy Riley, from the Hope Centre, said: " We are all so happy and humbled at being recognised by the Queen for our work at the Hope Centre.
"For four years we all have given our time voluntarily and we try and help anybody who needs help whatever their circumstances.
"We have helped break barriers within communities and made anyone who has come to the centre feel like family."
The centre provides help with CVs, art classes, food, counselling, education and a whole raft of other practical services which visitors require.
All 27 volunteers at the Andrew Road centre have received the award and managers Wendy Riley, Camilla Phillips along with Kyle Levene and Izzy Noott are going to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
Wendy said: "We can't wait for Tuesday, people have been so kind and have been bringing in designer clothes for us to wear and we are all looking for the right hat for the big day."
The Hope Centre was founded by Wendy and Camilla in January 2010 after the Lighthouse Project was disbanded in 2009.
The Hope Centre’s official citation explains the award has been granted for “welcoming, serving and listening to everyone at the centre, regardless of circumstance, lifestyle or any other factor.”
Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris, a regular visitor to the centre, backed the nomination and met with the Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire to discuss the application for the award.
The MP said: "This is fantastic news and well-deserved recognition of the dedication, compassion and effort put in by Camilla, Wendy and all of the volunteers.
“The Hope Centre is a shining example of the tremendous work done by volunteers across Halesowen and Rowley Regis to help the vulnerable, strengthen our community and make our area an even better place to live and work.”
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