VOLUNTEERS, veterans and civic dignitaries from Halesowen and Sandwell visited Buckingham Palace this week.

They were invited to the Queen's garden party yestarday (Tuesday) at the palace in recognition of the work they have done for the community.

The Queen joined Prince Philip, who was celebrating his 93rd birthday, and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton in talking to the guests on the lawns of the palace.

The Hope Centre was represented by founders Camilla Phillips, Wendy Riley and volunteers Kyle Levene and Izzy Noott.

The Halesowen centre's volunteers were awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service which is the equivalent of an MBE and is given to those regularly devote their time to help the lives of others.

Wendy Riley said: "We have had a great time at Buckingham Palace, the weather was beautiful and it was lovely to see The Queen and Prince Phillip."

Halesowen North Councillor David Vickers also attended the garden party as did Belle Vale Cllr Donella Russell.

Sandwell Council's financial supremo Councillor Steve Eling was invited for his contribution to public life.

And Mayor of Sandwell Lina Horton also enjoyed the garden party with her husband cllr Roger Horton in what was her penultimate day in office.

Last Tuesday Hal Davenport from Cradley Heath attended a garden party in recognition of his work with the Royal Air Forces Association and the local community.

The 83-year-old was awarded the British Empire Medal in last year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

He was the chairman of the Halesowen branch of the RAFA for 28 years and secretary for 20 years before it was disbanded in 2011.

He said: "It was wonderful to visit Buckingham Palace with my son Andrew, the Queen was just a few yards away at one stage.

"I will never forget the day."