TWO Coventry volunteer organisations are among seventeen across the West Midlands to receive the Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service during the Jubilee.
The Friends of Longford Park and Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library have won the honour, which is the highest award that a British voluntary group can receive and is equivalent to an MBE.
They join six organisations from Birmingham, two from Dudley, three each from Sandwell and Wolverhampton and one from Solihull to scoop the prize.
The Friends of Longford Park was set up in 2009 in response to the area turning into a run-down green space.
Many of the park’s facilities were removed in the 1970s, but the ‘Friends’ group has transformed it into a community hub, with their largest events attracting up to 7,000 people.
They offer a large range of outdoor activities for running, walkers, orienteers and cyclists, and there is a ‘Magic Mile’ that allows local people to bond while they run, jog or cycle around a marked-out track.
Over 100 volunteers at Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library have won their award for their efforts in making sure it remains an accessible hub for the local community.
The volunteers set up a charity to put plans in place to save the library, which was built in 1913.
The group refurbished the premises and created and developed a children’s library, as well as providing vital services including book-borrowing, social and friendship groups, and French and Spanish conversation and book clubs.
They have also reached out to a local housing facility where people who have been homeless can stay, helping to integrate them with the local community.
The Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE said: “These seventeen organisations are all run by volunteers that are dedicated in their support and generous in giving their time to make the communities they serve a much more enriched place to be.
“It is volunteers, like these, that make our region such a great place to live and let’s celebrate their incredible recognition, which is fitting for the Platinum Jubilee year.”