Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
03 Jun 2020 by Mazeline Hemmings
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Volunteers from Guru Nanak Gurdwara, a Sikh spiritual centre based in Smethwick, West Midlands have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Established in 1961, the Gurdwara is one of the oldest and largest in the United Kingdom and voluntarily provides a very diverse range of services for the whole community. In 2018 Historic England chose the Gurdwara amongst the top 10 places which bring England’s extraordinary history of faith and believe to life.
The array of activities provide benefit both for those who attend the Gurdwara and the wider community. Benefits range from spiritual uplift through initiation and nurturing of Sikh practitioners; capacity building of individuals, families and communities with values-based education; engaging in civic activities; providing support to the elderly through youth participation and healthcare; and environmental enhancement and heritage conservation both in Sikh and British heritage.
These projects enable community involvement through voluntary donations coupled with facilitating the provision of physical labour through a planned and professional approach. Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
Representatives of Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick will receive the award from John Crabtree OBE, Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick’s president, Jaswinder Singh says: “We are absolutely delighted with this wonderful award, it serves as great recognition of the amazing work of all the volunteers (Sevadaars) at Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick. The Gurdwara provides a high standard of diverse services to meet the needs of the local community.”
“On behalf of the management committee I want to say a huge thank you to all involved since the establishment of Guru Nanak Gurdwara for making it so welcoming, engaging and impactful for the diverse communities we serve in the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.”