Sandwell community groups recognised with King’s Award
14 Nov 2023 by Mazeline Hemmings
Three organisations in Sandwell are today (Tuesday 14 November) being honoured with the King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS), in recognition of their significant contributions to the local community. This Award is the highest recognition that a local voluntary group can receive in the United Kingdom and is equivalent to an MBE. It is awarded for life.
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 are to receive the Award. Eighteen of these are in the West Midlands, recognising the hard work and dedicated of over 1,000 volunteers.
The three charities recognised in Sandwell are the Cape Community Care Day Centre, New Beginnings Community and Student Voice.
The Cape Community Care Day Centre: based in Cape Hill, Smethwick and offers services for those facing issues including disability, low income or poor housing. By providing 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.
The New Beginnings Community: based in Smethwick and provides support for young families, providing activities for children under five, as well as running a Moses-basket-based baby bank. In addition to this, they deliver community services such as warm spaces, weekly breakfasts and signposting services. Through their close links with local maternity hospitals, they also play an important role in supporting new mothers who have been victims of human trafficking.
Student Voice: an initiative run through St Michael’s C of E High School in Rowley Regis. 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, have organised a number of events, including mental health initiatives, skills workshops and community outreach projects.