2 June 2017

The outstanding efforts and tireless dedication of volunteers working at a homeless centre run by YMCA Black Country, has been honoured with the UK’s highest award for volunteering.

The Glebe Centre in Walsall, which provides vital lifeline services to rough sleepers in the area, as well as support for people with drug and alcohol addictions and the long-term unemployed, has been handed the distinguished Queen’s Award for its volunteering programme.

The royal stamp of approval serves as testament to the dedication shown by the centre’s team of nine volunteers, who have contributed their skills, time, energy and delivery of over 100 hours of work to vulnerable people every week.

To celebrate being selected for the award, Jane Hayward, manager of The Glebe Centre and Steve Clay, Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Black Country, represented the volunteers at the coveted Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, where they were joined by the president of YMCA in England and Wales, Archbishop John Sentamu and his wife Margaret.

Speaking about her team of star volunteers, Jane said: “Our volunteers are invaluable; they give their time to us, often working within a challenging environment, without any expectations of recompense. We genuinely could not deliver our services without them and we are incredibly grateful, and feel extremely fortunate, to benefit from the support, skills and experience they give to us so freely.”

Steve, said: “We are so proud of our team at The Glebe Centre for their hard work and dedication. Without our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to offer this lifeline to some of the most vulnerable people in the borough. It is through their time and commitment that life has been breathed back into the centre.

“The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017 represents a tremendous achievement for The Glebe Centre, and we are immensely proud of the recognition the award represents.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the MBE for volunteer groups. It was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.