Sandwell community groups recognised with King’s Awards12th December 2023
Three organisations in Sandwell received the King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) last month. The award was in recognition of their significant contributions to the local community.
A King’s Award is the highest recognition that a local voluntary group can receive in the United Kingdom. It is equivalent to an MBE and awarded for life.
Previously known as the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), the awards were first created in 2002 to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee.
The King’s birthday celebrations
This year is the first time that awardees have been honoured as part of the King’s birthday celebrations.
Two hundred and sixty two local charities and voluntary groups received the award, eighteen of which are based in the West Midlands. The award recognises the hard work and dedication of over a thousand volunteers.
Three Sandwell charities won:
- Cape Community Care Day Centre
- New Beginnings Community
- Student Voice.
Cape Community Care Day Centre
Cape Community Care Day Centre, based in Smethwick, offers services for those facing issues including disability, low income or poor housing. It provides physical and mental health wellbeing sessions and home visits. Volunteers at the centre reduce social isolation and encourage independent living, creating support networks throughout the community.
Manager of the centre, Paulette Fairin Suban said: “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious Kings Award. We are beyond blessed to have been recognised.
“We give thanks to the Almighty for our amazing team. From the initial founders to today’s volunteers – who have been so dedicated and resilient over the years. I believe this award highlights our journey to excellence.
“I am immensely proud of our team. On behalf of the Cape Community Care Day Centre thank you to all our supporters.”
New Beginnings Community
New Beginnings Community is also based in Smethwick and offers support for young families. It provides activities for children under five and runs a Moses-basket-based baby bank.
In addition, the charity delivers community services such as warm spaces, weekly breakfasts and signposting services. It has close links with local maternity hospitals and plays an important role in supporting new mothers who have been victims of human trafficking.
Peter Spence is chair of trustees at New Beginnings. Peter said: “We are over the moon to be chosen. Our vision is always about empowering the community to become the best possible version of itself.
“We believe our strength is in our wonderful volunteers, who we value hugely and, without whom, our work wouldn’t be possible.”
St Michael’s C of E High School in Rowley Regis runs the initiative called Student Voice. Members raise awareness of local and national issues, offering a safe space to engage young people in school and community-based initiatives. The students, aged 11-16 years, have organised a number of events, including mental health initiatives, skills workshops and community outreach projects.
Christina Handy-Rivett, headteacher of St Michael’s, said: “I am extremely proud of all members of Student Voice, both past and present. They are agents of change, and their work exemplifies St Michael’s core Christian vision. Students’ selfless acts of kindness and generosity in dedicating their personal time to support such a wide range of initiatives, fundraising events and projects are truly inspirational.”
Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, congratulated all the groups receiving this prestigious honour. She said: “These groups do such important work in the local community, work that wouldn’t happen without the dedication of their fantastic volunteers. It is wonderful to see their efforts honoured with such a prestigious award.
“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to all those recognised.”
Apply for a King’s Award for Enterprise
It’s not just community organisations that can receive a royal award. We encourage all Sandwell businesses to apply for the King’s Awards for Enterprise. To find out about eligibility and get application support, visit our King’s Awards resources page.